Cipla bets big on cell therapy

Posted: March 22, 2014 at 2:41 am

In India, stem cell biz may touch $8 b by 2015

Mumbai, March 21:

Stem cells are set to be a major branch of medical treatment, says Cipla Chairman YK Hamied. Regenerative medicine, or cell therapy, is a rapidly emerging area of biomedical research and would be an ideal supplement for existing medical treatments, he added.

Cell therapy refers to treatments that are founded on the concept of producing new cells to replace malfunctioning or damaged cells as a vehicle to treat disease and injury.

We have a research unit in Malaysia that is conducting research on stem cells, Hamied said while speaking about Stempeutics Research with which it has an alliance. The Manipal Group-promoted Stempeutics is developing stem cell-based medicinal products with facilities in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Bangalore.

We are partners in the Bangalore company, he said. The enormous potential of stem cells in the treatment of chronic and several incurable diseases is boosting the overall stem cells therapy market, he added.

Poised to reach an estimated $88.3 billion by 2015, the global stem cells market has been growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 14.8 per cent, driven by the increasing demand of stem cell therapy.

In India, the stem cell business is expected to touch $8 billion (48,880 crore today) by 2015. With three phase II clinical trials in progress in India for critical limb Ischemia (meaning restriction in blood supply to tissues), osteoarthritis and liver cirrhosis Stempeutics aims to bring the first product into the Indian and Malaysian markets by 2015.

Under the alliance, Cipla has invested over 50 crore in Stempeutics, with a focus on research of stem cell-based products, and has done something similar in China, where it has streamlined its investments towards its core business. The drug-maker recently exited a significant part of its investment in its Chinese partner Desano Holdings.

Despite the lack of legislation and awareness, besides quality and ethical issues that have deterred growth of the stem cell therapy business in India, the country remains the top priority for the Mumbai-based drug-maker, the Cipla Chairman told Business Line.

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Cipla bets big on cell therapy

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