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ICGEB and Sun Pharma sign agreement to develop botanical drug to treat dengue

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ICGEB will provide the technical know-how and pre-clinical expertise and Sun Pharma to develop this drug with appropriate pre-clinical & clinical studies to register it in India and other global markets

International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) and Sun Pharma has signed an agreement to develop a novel botanical drug for treatment of dengue. Through this agreement, Sun Pharma commits development of Cissampelos pariera (Cipa), a botanical drug in collaboration with ICGEB. Through this agreement Sun Pharma will follow up on earlier pre-clinical collaboration between ICGEB and erstwhile Ranbaxy Laboratories. Sun Pharma will develop Cipa, a botanical drug following a drug registration process similar to a new chemical entity, consisting of all required in-vitro, in-vivo, pre-clinical and clinical studies meeting all regulatory standards of India and other regulatory agencies worldwide.

According to Dr Dinakar M Salunke, Director International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology , New Delhi, “Dengue, a mosquito-borne viral disease, poses a significant global public health risk. In tropical countries such as India where periodic dengue outbreaks can be correlated to the high prevalence of the mosquito vector, circulation of all four dengue viruses (DENVs) and the high population density, a drug for dengue is being increasingly recognised as an unmet public health need. Using the knowledge of traditional Indian medicine, we explored the indigenous herbal bio-resource to identify plants with pan-DENV inhibitory activity and identified CIPA as a safe, affordable and effective solution.”

Commenting on the company’s partnership with ICGEB, Kirti Ganorkar, Senior Vice President – Business Development & Portfolio Management, Sun Pharma said, “Dengue poses a significant global public health risk. In tropical countries like India where dengue outbreaks are significantly intense, a drug for dengue is recognised as an unmet public health need. Our partnership with ICGEB aims to develop Cipa as a safe, effective and affordable botanical drug for treatment of dengue.”

The terms of this agreement permits Sun Pharma’s access to all the intellectual properties of this drug cross 17 countries. ICGEB will establish assay systems for development of Cipa for treatment of dengue infection for a pre-defined period of time. ICGEB will work exclusively with Sun Pharma for the development of this drug and clinical treatment strategies based on botanical and phyto-pharmaceuticals. Sun Pharma will pay royalties on sales post commercialisation. Other financial details of this agreement are confidential.

As any other new drug, Sun Pharma will scientifically substantiate the safety and effectiveness, manufacture under appropriate standards and build a strong intellectual property base to support commercialisation of its botanical dengue drug.

Dr Navin Khanna at ICGEB has been the Principal Investigator (PI) for this project. He will continue in this role as part of the current collaboration.

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