Our Bureau

Hyderabad, Feb. 2

DR Reddy's Laboratories Ltd has announced that it has entered into an agreement with the UK-based privately held drug discovery and development company - Argenta Discovery Ltd - for the joint development and commercialisation of a novel approach to the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

In a press release here, Dr Reddy's said, under the terms of the agreement, both the companies would collaborate to identify clinical candidates from a certain class of Dr Reddy's' compounds for use as potential treatments for COPD.

Both the parties would jointly develop the selected candidates from the pre-clinical stage up to Phase II-a (proof-of-concept). On successful completion of a Phase II-a trial, the companies would either licence-out the candidate for further development and commercialisation to a larger pharmaceutical company or continue the further co-development and commercialisation themselves.

Both Dr Reddy's and Argenta have agreed to fund the joint collaboration up to proof-of-concept. However, Dr Reddy's did not disclose the financial terms of the agreement.

Commenting on the co-development deal, the Dr Reddy's Chief Executive Officer, Mr G.V. Prasad, said, "We are excited about the R&D collaboration with Argenta as it provides us with an opportunity to leverage our drug discovery capabilities to target unmet medical needs in the respiratory therapeutic area. Argenta brings the significant respiratory drug development expertise required to pursue a novel approach for the treatment of COPD, asthma and cystic fibrosis,"

Dr Chris Ashton, Chief Executive Officer of Argenta Discovery, said,

"We are delighted to be working with Dr Reddy's, which is establishing a growing reputation within the global pharmaceutical industry. We are proud that Argenta's expertise and experience in drug development and respiratory disease has been recognised by Dr Reddy's and we look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration."

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 3, 2006)
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