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July 09, 2006

Making of the first "made in India" drug

Businessworld has a detailed cover story on how a clutch of Indian pharmaceutical firms are venturing forth to discover new drugs.

If it does clear phase III, (Dr. Reddy's diabetes drug) DRF 2593 could well become the first ‘new’ drug developed by an Indian company. So far, every drug that has been created by the Indian pharmaceutical industry has been a reverse engineered generic — a copy of a drug that was already discovered by a multinational.

Of course, there is a chance that DRF 2593 will fall at this final hurdle. There is also a chance that one of the three other Indian companies — Ranbaxy, Glenmark and Wockhardt — that have compounds in advanced stages of clinical testing, will pip Dr. Reddy’s to the goal post. Ranbaxy is testing its anti-malarial, Glenmark has a potential new asthma cure and Wockhardt has a new generation broad-spectrum antibiotic in the works.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder of Venture Intelligence India, which tracks venture capital activity in India and Indian-founded companies worldwide. View sample issues of Venture Intelligence India newsletters and reports.