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Lilly takes advantage of Indian R&D shift

Lilly is entering into "risk and reward sharing arrangements" with Indian pharmaceutical manufacturers moving away from a generic model to focus on R&D

US-based Eli Lilly is entering into "risk and reward sharing arrangements" with Indian pharmaceutical manufacturers, which are reportedly moving away from a generic business model to R&D focused collaborations.

Under the arrangement, the Indian companies will develop compounds with Lilly using their own financial and human resources, while Lilly will focus on India primarily as a source for R&D staff and research capabilities. 

In an interview with Business Standard, Lilly's CEO Sidney Taurel said that the adoption of the patent protection agreement for pharmaceuticals in India was a welcome development.

Lilly's main therapeutic areas are neuroscience, endocrine disorders, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. The company has already transferred proprietary technology to Indian-headquartered Shasun Chemicals and Drugs to manufacture the anti-rejection drug, cyclosporine.

Despite the recent setback to Novartis over the patent approval for cancer drug Glivec (imatinib), Taurel concluded: "India sees in its best interest to move in the value chain that is more knowledge-based and has more intellectual protection. Yes, sometimes we get the impression that India moves one-and-half steps forward and one step backward. However, when compared with China, we are more encouraged by the judiciary system in India. We believe enforcement would improve from what we see today."

S-A opens development centre in India
In other related news, French pharmaceutical company sanofi-aventis (S-A) has opened its first Asian pharmaceutical development centre in Goa, India.

The investment in the Goa Development Centre (GDC) represents the group's largest investment in the region to date. The GDC will be S-A's Asian hub for analytical and pharmaceutical formulation development.

The 2.6-hectare site will develop up to 12 pharmaceutical compounds per year. Located close to S-A' manufacturing facility in Goa, the GDC will enable the group to introduce new treatments rapidly both in Asia Pacific and the global marketplace.

3rd December 2007

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