Indoco Remedies, the Rs 400 crore makers of anti-infectives and pain management medicines is exploring options in new drugs through chemistry and biotechnology. The company, which set up its research and development (R&D) facility in Rabale, Navi Mumbai, in 2006, is planning to leverage its experience as a contract research organisation (CRO) to set up expertise in researching new medicines.
The company is planning to ramp up its staff strength at its R&D centre to about 200 by next year, and would hire staff to set up a 'lead library', a first step towards starting off on new drug research. It is currently working with Japanese manufacturers on various contract research projects.
“Our chairman (Suresh G Kare) says we might be late, but by just a couple of years,” said Dr Ketan Vyas, vice president, R&D. Vyas has been entrusted the task to turn Indoco from a predominantly API and cheap drug-making and marketing company to a highly focussed, research driven organisation.
The Indoco scrip closed at Rs 286.75, up 2.78 per cent or Rs 7.75 at end of trade Tuesday. The company is exploring these options to increase revenues in a market where API margins are becoming difficult to maintain. API, or Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, are the basic chemicals for drugs.
Global oil prices have spiked to almost four times what it was last year, and is putting severe pressure on the price of solvents used to make solutions for API. “Solvents are petro-chemical by products, and there is no other way of preparing solvents,” Vyas said.