Bangalore, March 24 :
Indian pharma major Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd’s subsidiary Chemsys will develop new drugs in collaboration with a US-based research institute to combat tuberculosis in the Indian subcontinent.
“We are extending our collaborative partnership with the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) for new TB drug discovery,” Jubilant drug discovery services president Subir Basak said in a statement here Monday on the occasion of World TB Day.
The Seattle-based IDRI has got $3.4 million as an additional grant for the joint research project from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
As part of the Lilly TB drug discovery initiative (LTI), the collaboration in chemistry support had generated hundreds of novel chemical entities, including those identified for exploration.
“We have been offering support and expertise in synthesis of chemical entities for early research in TB,” Basak said.
The research outcome is expected to address the unmet need in TB therapy, a growing concern in under-developed and developing economies, including India.
“We are glad the collaboration is leveraging our chemistry talent and experience in anti-bacterial research,” he said.
Impressed with the commitment and engagement of Chemsys in support of TB drug discovery over the years, IDRI vice president Tanya Parish said the joint initiative would enable Jubilant develop new drugs to combat the disease.
“The novel initiative will allow us to expand our efforts through Chemsys to access additional synthetic and medicinal chemistry capabilities,” Parish said.
As a founding member of the LTI and TB Drug accelerator partnership, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, IDRI was granted $7.8 million in 2010 for identifying new leads and produce drugs to treat TB.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the causative agent of human tuberculosis, a devastating infectious disease that kills about 1.5 million and infects over eight million people each year.
“There is an increasing threat from multi-drug resistant and drug-resistant strains, demonstrating the need to develop cheaper and faster-acting drugs,” Basak said.
Chemsys offers drug discovery services to various research groups across the US, Europe and Japan on full-time basis, while its parent company (Jubilant) manufactures and supplies active pharma ingredients (APIs), solid dosage formulations and allergy therapy products.