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Ranbaxy in licensing deal with German co

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, June 27

RANBAXY Laboratories Ltd (RLL) has stepped on the accelerator with regard to its activity in the German market.

Close on the heels of acquiring Procter & Gamble Pharmaceutical's Veratide, Ranbaxy has inked a licensing deal with Germany's Schwarz Pharma for the former's `new chemical entity' (NCE) to treat `benign prostrate hyperplasia' (BPH).

Schwarz Pharma obtains the exclusive rights to develop, market and distribute the product in the US, Japan and Europe while Ranbaxy retains the rights to all other markets, according to an official communique issued here today.

In the event of successful development, Schwarz Pharma will pay Ranbaxy a total of $42 million over the next five to six years, including an upfront payment of $6.3 million, followed by royalties on commercialisation.

The agreement also provides for RLL to manufacture and supply finished formulations of the product to Schwarz Pharma.

The deal has to be approved by the Reserve Bank of India, the release said.

In India, the compound (RBx-2258) is currently in clinical trials Phase II. Schwarz Pharma now takes over the clinical development in the US, Europe and Japan. This includes further clinical phase I studies.

The compound (Schwarz Pharma code: SPM 969) is a uro-selective alpha-blocker which has patent protection until 2018.

The aim is to develop an once-a-day formulation with rapid relief of symptoms, especially an improved efficacy on LUTS (lower urinary tract symptoms).

The worldwide BPH market in 2001 amounted to $2.2 billion. In the US, Europe and Japan, the respective BPH market for SPM 969 had a volume of $ 2 billion with double digit growth rates.

Schwarz Pharma develops and markets drugs for unmet medical needs with focus on the central nervous system, urology and cardiovascular diseases.

In 2001, the company achieved a global sales of euro 768 million, the release said.

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