Updated on 21 December 2012
Under this collaboration, while Takeda would retain its commercialization rights for any drug candidate emerging out of this collaboration, Advinus would be eligible for royalties on its worldwide product sales.
But this would not be the first of such deals. Most of big pharma have struck a deal with Indian CROs or pharma companies for drug discovery collaborations in the last decade or less. Pfizer had entered into a R&D collaboration with TCG Lifesciences in 2009. In February this year, TCG Life Sciences delivered a pre-clinical candidate to Pfizer in return for a milestone payment as per the agreement.
TCG Lifesciences also has similar ongoing drug discovery based partnership with Endo Pharmaceuticals, under which it has achieved significant milestones. Commenting on these developments, Mr Siddharth Dhodi said, "The trend of companies moving from a fee-for-service-model to long term partnerships involving R&D of drugs has been growing for some time. The model which allows for milestone based payments with big pharma owning the assets, is a win-win situation for both."
Worldwide the trend to offshore research projects to counter mounting costs seem to have become the norm. As Dr Paul Chapman, general manager, pharmaceutical research division, Takeda said, "Collaboration with Advinus is one of our initiatives to enhance our research productivity."
Such collaborations not only mitigate the huge financial risks associated with drug discovery, due to the lower costs for conducting research in India, it also allows to speed up the process considerably.
Another model that is being closely looked at is one involving out-licensing phase I molecules to companies that can then conduct further clinical trials for the same. Most experts echo the fact that the Indian pharmaceutical industry still lacks any player that has the resources to take a drug the whole nine yards from discovery to clinical trials. In such a scenario, drug discovery partnerships can help put India on the world map.