Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd has exited diabetes and cardiovascular drug research citing the high cost of running clinical trials.

“Even the largest of the large companies are moving away from these areas, because the cost of these projects is becoming so huge," G.V. Prasad, chief executive and managing director of Dr. Reddy’s said on Monday.

A file photo of a Dr Reddy’s Laboratories site

The Hyderabad-based company’s much-hyped anti-diabetes drug Balaglitazone was stuck at phase-III trials. The firm was unable to find a partner to take the drug through the advanced clinical study.

“Regulatory requirement for diabetes is a lot more stringent," said Prashant Nair, associate head of India research at Citigroup Global Markets India Pvt. Ltd. “We had some diabetes drugs that led to long-term side-effects. Every diabetic drug now needs to go to cardio trials over a period of time to prove side-effect profile, that makes entire trial a lot more expensive."

Dr.Reddy’s cardiovascular drug CETP Inhibitor is in phase-II clinical trials. The company is finding it challenging to take the molecule beyond this phase.

Dr. Reddy’s will now focus on developing new chemical entities in areas related to pain relief, anti-infectives and dermatology. “The safety aspects are less onerous, there is existing data on molecules already, so we can refer to the data of original drug application," he said.