Sun Pharmaceutical Industries today signed a pact with International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) to develop a novel botanical drug for treatment of dengue.
Through this agreement, Sun Pharma commits development of Cissampelos pariera (Cipa), a botanical drug, in collaboration with ICGEB, the company said in a statement.
It will follow up on earlier pre-clinical collaboration between ICGEB and erstwhile Ranbaxy Laboratories, which the company acquired in 2014 for USD 4 billion.
Sun Pharma said it will develop Cipa following a drug registration process similar to a new chemical entity, consisting of all required in-vitro, in-vivo, pre-clinical and clinical studies meeting all regulatory standards of India and other regulatory agencies worldwide.
“Dengue poses a significant global public health risk. In tropical countries like India where dengue outbreaks are significantly intense, a drug for dengue is recognised as an unmet public health need.
“Our partnership with ICGEB aims to develop Cipa as a safe, effective and affordable botanical drug for treatment of dengue,” Sun Pharma Senior Vice President Business Development and Portfolio Management Kirti Ganorkar said.
ICGEB Director Dinakar M Salunke said a drug for dengue is being increasingly recognised as an unmet public health need.
“Using the knowledge of traditional Indian medicine, we explored the indigenous herbal bio-resource to identify plants with pan-DENV inhibitory activity and identified Cipa as a safe, affordable and effective solution,” Salunke added.
The agreement permits Sun Pharma access to all the intellectual properties of this drug across 17 countries. ICGEB will establish assay systems for development of Cipa for treatment of dengue infection for a pre-defined period of time.
“As any other new drug, Sun Pharma will scientifically substantiate the safety and effectiveness, manufacture under appropriate standards and build a strong intellectual property base to support commercialisation of its botanical dengue drug,” the company added.
ICGEB will work exclusively with Sun Pharma for the development of this drug and clinical treatment strategies based on botanical and phyto-pharmaceuticals. The company will pay royalties on sales post commercialisation, it said.
However, the company did not disclose the financial details citing other financial details of this agreement are confidential.
Navin Khanna, Principal Investigator for this project at ICGEB, will continue in this role as part of the current collaboration.
The company said the estimated cost of medical care for those who get infected with dengue is equal to nearly USD 550 million annually. Additional indirect economic costs, which are borne by patients and their families, lost wages, will be another USD 550 million.
India represents nearly 50 per cent of the global population estimated to be at risk of dengue. It is believed that dengue costs India over USD 1.1 billion annually.