Companies

Cipla invests $1.5 million in Chase Pharma

Rajalakshmi S | | Updated on: May 12, 2014
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Will collaborate with US-based Chase in developing drug for Alzheimer’s

Drug-maker Cipla has invested $1.5 million (₹8.9 crore) in Washington-based Chase Pharmaceuticals Corporation Inc, an early stage drug development company.

Chase, which has a patented approach to improve the efficacy, safety and tolerability of existing Alzheimer’s medications, is now focused on developing new approaches to treat the disease.

The investment, done through Cipla’s UK-based subsidiary, Cipla (EU) Ltd, translates into a 14.6 per cent stake in Chase on a fully-diluted basis. Cipla will invest another $4.5 million in Chase on the achievement of certain milestones. In addition to financing Chase, Cipla will collaborate with it to develop the drug. If successful, Cipla may provide low-cost access to Chase’s lead drug in India and South Africa, it added.

New ventures Cipla was in the news last week for reportedly rebuffing predatory overtures from Israeli drug-maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, a development Cipla denied in a note to stock exchanges. The funding by Cipla is part of a $21-million investment through a syndicate, said Chandru Chawla, head of Cipla New Ventures. The venture charts an innovation-led course for the company around areas including biologicals and revitalising of existing safe drugs, besides leveraging Cipla’s delivery technologies.

The venture looks at areas that play to Cipla’s strengths and fit into the company’s values of addressing affordability and access to the drug, Chawla told Business Line . Consumer healthcare is another area of interest, he added, without getting into the details.

Funding syndicate Cipla will look at growth opportunities, he said, adding that they are already invested in regenerative medicine and stem-cell therapies through Bangalore-based Stempeutics Research. The investment syndicate consists of Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners and New Rhein Healthcare LLC.

The $21-million two-phase financing will support Phase 2a and Phase 2b clinical trials where Chase’s lead drug CPC 201 will be tested on humans. The original venture funding for Chase was provided by the Brain Trust Accelerator Fund in 2010.

Alzheimer’s on the rise Cipla Global Managing Director and Chief Executive Subhanu Saxena said the investment was consistent with Cipla New Ventures’ mission to build more innovation-led business streams for Cipla in the future. Chase’s work on Alzheimer’s assumes importance against the backdrop of its global prevalence. Over five million patients are estimated to suffer from dementia in India, most of who are afflicted with Alzheimer’s, says Cipla. And these numbers are expected to double by 2030.

Unlike other developed nations, in India, the caregiver is the family and the economic and social impact of the illness is far-reaching, the company added.

In North America, Alzheimer’s disease affects over seven million patients, and growing, as the population ages.

The disease costs the US $203 billion annually with projections to reach $1.2 trillion by 2050, Cipla pointed out.

>jyothi.datta@thehindu.co.in

Published on March 13, 2018

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