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Wednesday, Jan 08, 2003

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NCL developing 3 chiral drug compounds

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NATIONAL Chemical Labs, Pune, is developing three chiral drug compounds, which are expected to be in the market by this year-end.

These are anti-asthmatic R-Salbutamol, anti-histamine Citrizine and beta blocker Atenolol.

Only in late 2002, NCL hit big time with its S-Amlodipine, another chiral that is also being commercialised by Emcure.

NCL, which is a CSIR lab, has tied up with Emcure Pharmaceuticals, also of Pune, to develop and commercialise the chemicals, according to the Deputy Director of NCL, Dr Mukund Gurjar.

He said there would be big opportunity for NCL's Amlodipine, sold as Asomex, from 2005 when its plain version comes off patent; that currently has a market of Rs 110 crore and the chiral version has already made a Rs 15-crore foray in the market. NCL will get 2 per cent royalty.

The chiral drug has been found to be safe for those over 70 years, requires smaller dosage, lowers the cholesterol level and is also priced lower, Dr Gurjar, who was here for the Indian Science Congress, told Business Line. Chiral drugs are a pharma company's new way to prosperity as they improve drug efficacy, cut development costs and product prices; but they also can also prolong patents long after the original drug goes off patent.

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