DRL Trial Suspension Not To Affect Research, Molecule Valuation

Mumbai, July 23: | Updated: Jul 25 2002, 05:30am hrs
The suspension of the clinical trials by Novo Nordisk for Dr Reddy’s Laboratories’ (DRL) outlicensed molecule DRF-2725 will neither impact the basic research undertaken by the pharma companies in India nor the valuations of the molecules in the process of being out-licenced.

According to Firstcall India Equity Advisors Pvt Ltd country head Dr VVLN Sastry, “Such kind of contingencies are quite natural in R&D, hence I do not see any negative impact on R&D drive of Indian pharma companies.”

According to an analyst, the suspension of clinical trials is not an unusal development when compared with the withdrawal of newly developed products by pharma companies immediately after its commercial launch.

On the impact on the valuation of molecules on the verge of out-licensing by Indian pharma majors, analysts said that they will derive a much better value as DRL’s molecule 2725 was believed to have gone for a comparatively lower valuation.

Compared to the mind blowing R&D valuation that take place in US and Europe, the kind of valuation that Indian companies are getting in the recent past are still low, Dr Sastry said.

“Hence, the R&D initiatives of Indian companies and any valuation associated with their work, still continue to be the bargain hunters for the MNC companies,” he said.

Other than DRL and Ranbaxy, Torrent, Wockhardt and Glenmark are the other pharma companies which have filed investigational new drug (IND) filing of their molecules and would be scouting for out-licensing options shortly.

DRF-2725 cannot be called a failure as it may still be pursued further, he added.

DRL’s release on Monday had stated that Novo Nordisk will continue other activities in the Ragaglitazar (DRF-2725) project until it has completed a renewed benefit/risk assessment of Ragalitazar. This assessment is expected to be ready by the first quarter of 2003.