Molecule to help detect Alzheimer's early
Piramal Healthcare (PHL), on Monday, said there was a revenue potential of $1.5 billion globally for its newly acquired florbetaben molecule, which could help in early detection of Alzheimer's disease.
Addressing a press conference, Ajay Piramal, Chairman, Piraman Group, said that PHL had signed an agreement to acquire worldwide rights to the molecular imaging research and development portfolio of Bayer Pharma AG through a newly-created subsidiary, Piramal Imaging SA, based in Berlin, Germany. The portfolio includes rights to florbetaben, which, according to the company, is in the final stages of its Phase-III clinical trials. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
“We are moving from branded generics to intellectual property (IP) space and this is one more step in that direction.” PHL has 14 molecules in various stages of clinical trials.
“The new way forward is to launch patent-protected products globally as we increasingly move into personalised medicine,” he said, adding that even big global pharmaceutical players were focussing on personalised medicine.
PHL is competing with giants such as Eli Lilly and General Electric which are also working on similar Alzheimer's disease imaging agents.
As per the deal, Piramal will acquire intellectual property (including patents, trademarks and knowhow) worldwide development, marketing and distribution rights of florbetaben and other clinical and pre-clinical assets of Bayer's molecular imaging business. It will also acquire the Berlin facility and around 20 scientists.
Florbetaben is in the final stage of clinical trials and, according to PHL, is used to detect beta-Amyloid plaque deposition in the brain, which is the pathological hallmark of disease in probable Alzheimer's disease patients. This early detection is expected to result in earlier diagnosis and specific treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
Mr. Piramal said, there were around 25 million Alzheimer's disease patients worldwide and this could reach 100 million by 2020.
PHL was likely to seek U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in the third quarter of the current calendar and once U.S. FDA approval was received, commercialisation would start immediately. Thereafter, the company would file for approvals in Europe and Japan, Mr. Piramal said.