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Thursday, Dec 04, 2003

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Orchid diabetic drug to start human trials in Europe

Our Bureau

Chennai , Dec. 3

ORCHID Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd on Wednesday announced that an anti-diabetic drug developed by its associate company, Bexel Pharmaceuticals, would start clinical trials on humans in Europe on December 15.

The drug had received the European Independent Ethics Committee's approval to carry out Phase I clinical trials following successful pre-clinical trials on animals. In addition to combating diabetes, it also checks the user's tendency to gain weight.

According to a press release, Phase I trials are expected to end in April and once a part of Phase II trials are completed, the drug would be licensed to another company for further trials.

Indian companies typically license their new drugs to other companies for more sophisticated clinical trials overseas because of the large associated cost. Orchid's Managing Director, Mr K. Raghavendra Rao, had earlier told Business Line that Phase I trials were likely to cost about $1 million. Bexel Pharmaceuticals is a joint venture between Orchid and the US-based Bexel Biotech.

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