Hyderabad: Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd founder-chairman Kallam Anji Reddy is no longer involved in the day-to-day management of the company he started in 1984, and built into a pioneer of drug discovery research in India and the country’s second largest drug maker by revenue.
In his early 70s, Reddy has taken the back seat to son-in-law G.V. Prasad, vice-chairman and chief executive officer, and son Satish Reddy, managing director and chief operating officer, in the running of the company that in 2001 became the first Asian drug maker outside of Japan to list on the New York Stock Exchange.
But the senior Reddy, the son of a turmeric farmer who turned scientist-entrepreneur, remains committed to drug discovery research, which the company started in 1993, though it is yet to achieve the big breakthrough. “My passion is drug discovery,” Reddy said in a rare interview. “At this moment, nothing else gives me kicks other than this.”
Next month, the company plans to start phase II clinical trials on a CETP (cholesteryl ester transfer protein) inhibitor molecule aimed at reducing bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol. Balaglitazone, a drug to treat type II diabetes, is in phase III clinical trials and the company is waiting for a second partner to scale up the process. Dr Reddy’s already has a tie-up with Denmark’s Rheoscience A/S for the development of balaglitazone.
In the interview, Reddy spoke about the state of the pharmaceutical industry and emerging trends, among other issues. Asked about periodic speculation that Dr Reddy’s is a potential acquisition target for Big Pharma, he said: “This is my life. I mean, may be I have Rs100 crore in the bank, sitting comfortably. If that increases to Rs10,000 crore, what difference does it make to me?”
Started with Rs25 lakh of capital, Dr Reddy’s has grown into a company with a market value of $6.29 billion (around Rs28,115 crore today) and revenue of $1.56 billion in 2009-10.