|Founder, CEO & MD: Dr Rashmi Bharbaiya|
NCES in the pipeline: 3
Therapeutic areas of focus: Diabetes, hypertension, lipid disorders and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Progress made: All three NCEs in pre-clinical trials
Investments so far in NCE research: Rs 200 crore
Annual investment in R&D: N.A.
Likely target date for new drug launch: N.A. (two-three compounds to go into development in 2008)
CEO-speak: “It is extremely expensive and time-consuming to undertake drug discovery and the success rates are very low”
From those early days, Advinus has today grown into a 350-person outfit that focuses on drug discovery, but also mitigates much of the risk from this business with a services arm, which provides low-cost, high-quality services to multinational pharma giants.
“It is extremely expensive and time-consuming to undertake drug discovery and development and the success rates are very low. Ninety per cent of the molecules we consider initially will fail and then it will take 3-5 years with successful ones to hit the market,” Bharbaiya says.
He estimates that companies such as Advinus could save large multinationals 60 per cent in cost (it costs around $1 billion to bring a potential drug to proof of concept) and aside from the obvious cost leverage, the saving could be used to put multiple development programmes in place to try and increase the likelihood of success of multiple molecules.
“We have generated some milestone payments before time. We focus on specific high-potential illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, lipid disorders and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,” says Bharbaiya.
— Rahul Sachitanand