Biocon to develop oral drug for heart disease

By agencies   |   Wednesday, 24 August 2005, 07:00 Hrs
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BANGALORE: India's biggest biotechnology firm Biocon announced it plans to develop an oral drug jointly with U.S. based Nobex Corporation for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

The two firms plan to file an application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2007 and begin clinical trials later that year of the oral peptide product, Biocon said in a statement.

The oral peptide drug, the human brain-type natriuretic peptide (hBNP), was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration four years ago for use as a continuous infusion for heart failure in hospitals.

"The intent of an oral hBNP will be to have a product available for chronic use rather than only for acute use for a number of potential indications, including early-stage heart failure patients," said Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, chairwoman of Biocon.

According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases account for 12 million deaths globally every year.

It says the risk of dying from heart disease is greater than the risk of dying from AIDS and all forms of cancer combined.

A study by U.S. based Earth Institute at Columbia University said the threat was "alarming" in India.

"The productive life year loss due to deaths in the 35-64 age group is likely to rise from 9.2 million in 2000 to 17.9 million by 2030 (in India), much ahead of China, Russia and the U.S.," it said.

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