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Mumbai, July 7

NICHOLAS Piramal India has said that it would be picking 17.1 per cent stake in Canadian biotech company BioSyntech Inc. NPIL will fork out about Rs 23 crore (C$6 million) toward this equity participation, a pharma industry representative said.

BioSyntech is a research-oriented company specialising in the discovery, development, and manufacturing of cost-effective biologic implants for therapeutic delivery and regenerative medicine, an NPIL communiqué said.

The deal will strengthen NPIL's orthopaedic product portfolio, as it will be able to in-license BioSyntech's products in India and other Asian markets. The two companies also plan to collaborate on research with respect to BioSyntech's future products.

The Canadian company has signed a letter of intent with NPIL, following which NPIL will subscribe to 75,00,000 common shares of the company at a price of C$0.8 a share, the note said. BioSyntech's lead products under advanced development include BST-CarGel, BSTDermOn, and BST-InPod, for cartilage regeneration, wound healing activation, and fat pad reconstruction for heel pain respectively.

The company has six other products under development for regenerative medicine and therapeutic delivery platforms.

The company specialises in gel-based platforms that are liquid at room temperature and solid at body temperature.

"The gels are biodegradable, have porous internal structure, and enable easy flow of blood nutrients, cells, and fluids. These gels are minimally invasive and have controlled residence time," the note said.

NPIL will have a representative on the BioSyntech's board of directors proportionate to its holding. This arrangement is conditional on satisfactory completion of due diligence, board approvals of both companies, regulatory approvals, and the signing of definitive agreements, the note added.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 8, 2005)
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