Advinus Therapeutics, J&J arm sign drug discovery agreement

Advinus Therapeutics, J&J arm sign drug discovery agreement

Mumbai: Tata Group firm Advinus Therapeutics said it has entered into a drug discovery and development pact with Ortho McNeil Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a Johnson & Johnson (J&J) arm.

“As per the collaboration, Advinus will receive an upfront payment and could receive milestone payments of up to $247 million upon successful development of two targets," Advinus CEO & Managing Director Rashmi H Barbhaiya said.

“Advinus would be eligible for royalties on the sales of drug products resulting from the collaboration," he said.

The research-based pharma company has an agreement with Merck for two programmes in metabolic diseases. The Indian company specialises in metabolic, inflammation and neglected diseases.

Advinus has not decided in which areas it would work with Ortho McNeil, but has said that it will be on areas in which we have competencies.

This is the largest deal for Advinus Therapeutics so far.

Advinus Therapeutics, formed three years ago, has Tata Sons as the majority shareholder and the minority equity is held by Rashmi H Barbhaiya and Kasim A Mookhtiar, Chief Scientific Officers in Advinus.

The details of shareholding are not made public because it is a private company.

“Tata is a majority shareholder in Advinus," its Chairman R Gopalakrishnan said.

“The company’s revenues would touch Rs100 crore by next year from the present Rs80 crore," Barbhaiya said.

“We are close to breakeven," he said.

“Till date investment in the company has touched Rs200 crore," he added.