Mumbai: Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd, a domestic drug maker, has acquired two under-development biological drugs from Canadian biotechnology company, Chromos Molecular Systems Inc. in an effort to tap the emerging market for biological drugs.
The two entities, which come under the class of drugs called humanized monoclonal antibodies, have been acquired by Glenmark’s Swiss subsidiary. Financial terms of the transaction are not known.
Glenn Saldanha, managing director and chief executive of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals said, “What makes these entities attractive is that there is no antibody that is currently available or under development for multiple sclerosis.”
The firm’s shares gained 1.72% to close at Rs711.8 on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Thursday while the exchange’s benchmark 30-share index Sensex gained 1.62%.
Glenmark now holds the worldwide rights for further development, registration, and commercialization of the two products.
A research analyst with a Mumbai-based brokerage, who did not wish to be identified, said that although biotechnology is the next big thing for the drug industry, the deal is unlikely to impact Glenmark in the short term.
“Glenmark is one of the early movers among the domestic players. In the long term, the move should augur well for the company but it may take a few years,” he added. With this acquisition, Glenmark will have five biological entities under development.
Humanized monoclonal antibodies are mass-produced substances that are designed to home in on certain target cells. Both the entities that Glenmark has acquired hold significant therapeutic potential. One of these, codenamed CHR-1103, is being developed to treat multiple sclerosis and the other, CHR-1201, is being developed to treat stroke.
The size of the market for treatments targetting multiple sclerosis is estimated to be $6.5 billion (Rs26,260 crore) and the market for those targetting stroke is estimated to be more than $3 billion.
Glenmark will initiate clinical trials on CHR-1103 next year. It is the newest entrant to a group of Indian drug makers developing monoclonal antibodies. Biocon Ltd, Wockhardt Ltd, Zenotech Laboratories Ltd and Shantha Biotechnic Pvt. Ltd are among the few companies that have research programmes in this space.