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Reddy's to step up discovery spend in FY04
BS Bureau in Hyderabad | August 26, 2003 10:10 IST
Dr Reddy's Laboratories has decided to increase its investment in drug discovery and other research and development initiatives to about 10 per cent of the total revenues during the current fiscal against 7.6 per cent spent in the last fiscal.
In absolute terms, it will be upwards of Rs 180 crore (Rs 1.80 billion) in the current year compared with Rs 137.5 crore (Rs 1.37 billion) in 2002-03. Dr Reddy's invested Rs 51 crore (Rs 510 million) and Rs 74 crore (Rs 740 million) on R&D in 2000-01 and 2001-02, respectively.
K Anji Reddy, chairman, DRL, said at the company's annual general meeting in Hyderabad on Monday that the company had three molecules in clinical development and five molecules in pre-clinical development in the areas of metabolic disorders, cardiovascular, cancer, inflammatuion and infection.
"If you consider the entire pipeline starting from exploratory and discovery stage, we have about 20 molecules and we would move some of them into pre-clinical development in the current year," Reddy said.
He added: "Our efforts in PPAR research continue to give us exciting molecules. We have three molecules in this segment and one of them, DRF-10945, is undergoing regulatory toxicology studies in France. At the target-based discovery and validation program at Atlanta in the United States, one of the pre-clinical candidates, RUS-3108, is a new approach to treat Atheroscelorosis. We will be taking up probe toxicity studies soon on this molecule."
On the anti-cancer program, the second molecule, DRF-1644, will soon go to Phase-1 clinical trials in India, while the first molecule, DRF-1042, is already under Phase-II trials, Reddy explained.
"We will be completing 10 eventful years into drug discovery shortly. During this journey, we have tasted many successes, encountered many failures as well. I have great confidence in our army of chemists and biologists, and am confident of that we will bring our own molecule to the market in this decade," he stated.
Anji Reddy politely rejected the request of some shareholders to consider a bonus issue in view of a large reserves position of Rs 1,786 crore (Rs 17.86 billion) on a paid-up capital of Rs 38.25 crore (Rs 382.5 million), by saying that "we are rewarding the shareholders with a good dividend. Bonus does not make any difference."
Stating that the outlook for the current year is positive both in terms of revenue and profits, G V Prasad, chief executive officer, said the growing presence in US market had opened an exciting range of opportunities and it would drive the growth and profitability of the company over the next 4-5 years.