Lupin inks licencing deal with Sydney-based NeuClone

Lupin inks licencing deal with Sydney-based NeuClone

New Delhi: Drug-maker Lupin Ltd on Wednesday said it has inked a licencing agreement with Sydney-based private specialty life science company NeuClone Pty Ltd for cell line technology to develop cancer treatment medicines.

“Under the terms of the agreement, NeuClone will provide an exclusive proprietary mammalian CHO cell line which will express a specific recombinant protein of interest in oncology to its partner," Lupin said in a statement.

The agreement will also entail the Lupin Biological Research Programme scientific research staff to work with NeuClone teams at their facility as part of the overall technology transfer arrangements specified within the agreement, it added.

Commenting on the agreement, Lupin Ltd president and head of the Lupin Biological Research Programme Cyrus Karkaria said: “The multi-billion dollar opportunity, with blockbuster biologics going off patent in the next 5-8 years, is something that Lupin is pursuing aggressively.

“This exclusive licensing arrangement with NeuClone is a part of that strategy and would enable us to capitalise on cutting edge technology to address the biologicals market."

He further said that such agreements coupled with the company’s own products pipeline will go a long way in helping it address the impending opportunity and develop a substantial differentiated biological pipeline.

The company currently has 6-8 products (proteins) in the pipeline and is looking to launch its first biological in the Indian market by the middle of 2011.

The Mumbai-headquartered firm started its biotechnology programme three years ago and has set up research and manufacturing facilities near Pune.

Commenting on the deal, NeuClone CEO Noelle Sunstrom said: “This is an exciting time for NeuClone and our stakeholders as our investment in mammalian CHO cell lines is commercialised. In particular, we are enthusiastic about further developing the relationship with Lupin, an important global generic manufacturer."

According to industry estimates, the market for biosimilars globally is pegged at over $100 billion, whereas the Indian market for biosimilars including insulin, hormones, vaccines and plasma proteins is valued at around 2,500 crore.

Shares of Lupin were being quoted at 466.90 apiece on the Bombay Stock Exchange in late afternoon trade on Wednesday, down 0.63% from their previous close.