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Dr. Reddy’s, Aurigene Pharmaceutical Services to explore drugs for neglected tropical diseases

The parties will work toward ensuring access to drugs at affordable prices to patients in need.

Dr. Reddy’s and Aurigene Pharmaceutical Services, a fully owned step-down subsidiary of Dr. Reddys, announced a memorandum of understanding with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, a not-for-profit research and development organization that develops new therapeutic solutions for neglected diseases and the DNDi India Foundation.

The parties will explore a potential collaboration to develop and market novel and improved drugs for the treatment of identified Neglected Tropical Diseases of national and global importance. The parties also will seek to work towards ensuring access of those drugs at affordable prices to patients in need, particularly in low and middle-income countries that are disproportionately affected by these NTDs.

This potential partnership will aim to bring DNDi’s expertise in NTDs together with the scientific, technical and commercial capabilities of APSL and Dr. Reddy’s. It also will give access to a pipeline of new chemical entities, pre-clinical studies, network and advocacy on these NTDs by DNDi; phase-wise clinical studies, research and development, commercial manufacturing of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and the finished products by APSL; distribution and commercialization of the drugs by Dr. Reddy’s.

[Read more: Dr. Reddy's intros generic Revlimid]

Neglected tropical diseases are a diverse group of 20 conditions that are mainly prevalent in tropical areas. Globally, 1.7 billion people are affected by NTDs such as mycetoma, sleeping sickness, leishmaniasis (kala azar), Chagas disease and river blindness. Across continents, NTDs cause intense suffering, disability and often death, and impoverish individuals, families and communities.

“In keeping with our purpose of Good Health Can’t Wait, we have always stood for access to affordable and innovative drugs. We are grateful for this opportunity to explore a collaboration with DNDi, a globally renowned champion of the cause of neglected diseases with strong networks and know-how in this segment,” said Deepak Sapra, CEO, API and services, Dr. Reddys. “We will look to leverage the strengths and capabilities of all the parties to explore new drugs with the intention of making them available in India and in countries with high disease burden in these NTDs. This potential partnership reinforces our aim as an organization to triple our existing reach to touch over 1.5 billion patients around the world by 2030, and to introduce innovative products to improve standard of care.”

“We are excited to explore the possibility of a strategic long-term collaboration with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories to develop affordable and effective therapeutics for neglected populations,” said Bernard Pecoul, executive director of DNDi. “India is hailed as the ‘pharmacy of the world’ and a potential partnership with one of its pharmaceutical giants can help hundreds of thousands of neglected patients to access the drugs they need. We appreciate Dr. Reddy’s for stepping forward to contribute to the field of neglected diseases that has historically been ignored by many pharmaceutical companies.”

[Read more: Dr. Reddy's Aurigene Pharmaceutical Services names CEO]

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to explore a partnership with DNDi and use our robust manufacturing capabilities and CDMO services to serve a large population around the world in the NTDs segment. Over the years, APSL has delivered novel and complex molecules,” said Akhil Ravi, CEO of Aurigene. “With integrated services from clinical research to commercial manufacturing for small and large molecules, APSL has a strong track record of working on multiple projects across various therapy areas. Through our strong pipeline of innovative drug candidates in discovery and clinical development, we aim to become the trusted and dynamic partner for future-ready healthcare solutions.”

“This potential partnership aims to leverage each other’s expertise and strengths while working together to develop new treatments that address public health needs in India and beyond,’’ said Kavita Singh, director of DNDi South Asia. “The selection will be made from DNDi’s portfolio of new chemical entities in different stages of development. DNDi with its partners are continuing their efforts to develop treatments that are oral, safe and effective.’’

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