India's Glenmark Pharma seeks foreign partners on biologic drugs

MUMBAI, July 10 Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:12am EDT

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MUMBAI, July 10 (Reuters) - India's Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd is in talks with foreign companies for a partnership on two of its biological drugs being tested for the treatment of chronic pain and autoimmune disorders, a senior executive said on Thursday.

Glenmark is looking for companies whose research pipelines would complement its experimental drugs, GBR830 and GBR900, which are both in phase 1, or early stage clinical trials on humans, Chairman and Managing Director Glenn Saldanha said.

He declined to give names, but said he expects to find partners by the time the two drugs complete phase 2 clinical trials, which will be "anywhere from a year to two years."

"It will depend on whether the companies are therapeutically focused on that area and whether they have a conflicting molecule in their pipeline," Saldanha said in an interview at Glenmark's headquarters in Mumbai.

While India's $15 billion pharmaceutical industry is mainly engaged in the development and sale of generic medicines, Glenmark is among the few that continue to invest in the development of original medicines. Natco Pharma Ltd and Cadila Healthcare Ltd are two other Indian companies also involved in such research.

Glenmark has as many as many as six drugs under development for treatments varying from pain and respiratory disorders to multiple sclerosis, and it is already partnered with U.S.-based Forest Laboratories Ltd and French firm Sanofi on two of them.

Glenmark, India's sixth-largest drugmaker by sales, gets about 34 percent of its revenue from the United States, while India is its second-largest market, contributing a quarter of total revenue. (Editing by Matt Driskill)

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