Yet another indigenously discovered and invented anti-diabetic clinical drug candidate lost strategic and financial backup from the research-based company with Merck backing out to support co-development and commercialization of Glenmark’s phase II drug candidate Melogliptin (GRC 8200). The decision came after Merck’s decision to re-focus its portfolio and not to invest further in diabetes research and development. Earlier in 2003 and 2004, Novo Nordisk backed out from Dr. Reddy’s phase III anti-diabetic drug Ragaglitazar (DRF-2725) due to risk assessment and phase II anti-diabetic drug Balaglitazone (DRF-2593) due to lack of competitive advantage. Also, in 2003 Novartis discontinued development of anti-diabetic drug (DRF-4158) which Dr. Reddy’s out-licensed to Novartis in 2001. Later Dr. Reddy’s entered into co-development and commercialization agreement with Rheoscience for Balaglitazone, which is currently in final phase of clinical trial. Schwarz Pharma, in 2004, discontinued development of Ranbaxy phase II prostate drug Pamirosin (RBx 2258) whereas last year Medicines of Malaria Venture (MMV) lost interest in Ranbaxy’s phase II anti-malaria drug Arterolane.
Deals Still in Progress
In 2004, Torrent out-licensed a cardiac drug molecule (TRC 4XXX) to Novartis and Glenmark out-licensed an asthma drug Oglemilast (GRC 3886) to Forest Labs.