Mumbai: Advinus Therapeutics (P) Ltd, a Tata Group company, has entered into a drug discovery and development collaboration with Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc (OMJPI), a subsidiary of pharmaceuticals major Johnson and Johnson.
Under the agreement, Advinus and OMJPI will jointly develop drug candidates for various disease targets. Advinus will be responsible for drug discovery and early clinical development (until the completion of Phase 2a studies), while OMPJI will have an option to advance the drug candidates into late stage clinical trials and will be responsible for worldwide commercialisation of the molecules.
Advinus will receive an upfront payment and could receive milestone payments of up to $247 million upon successful development of two targets. Advinus is also eligible for royalties on the sales of any drug products resulting from the collaboration.
''The collaboration provides a great opportunity to synergise the talent of Indian drug discovery and development scientists at Advinus with the scientific, clinical development and commercial strengths of a company like OMJPI for bringing new medicines to market with speed, efficiency and cost-effectiveness. It is a further validation of the growing capabilities of Indian pharmaceutical researchers and Advinus' commitment to bring new medicines to market," said Dr Kasim Mookhtiar, CSO and head of drug discovery at Advinus.
Advinus Therapeutics, a research-based pharmaceutical company founded by eminent global pharmaceutical executives, offers end-to-end development services to the global pharmaceutical, agrochemical and biotechnology industries. The company is focused on the development of drugs for metabolic and inflammatory diseases. Advinus is also pursuing the discovery of new drug treatments for neglected (for developing world) diseases.
Tata Sons has invested about Rs200 crore in the company and holds a majority stake. Advinus expects to cross annual turnover of Rs100 crore next year.
The company at present has 450 staff, including 110 people at Pune, focused on innovative research and discovery. Advinus is set to shift to its new research centre, also located at Pune, within the next few weeks, besides increasing its staff to 500 people.