Suven Life Science has received patents for four of its new chemical entities (NCEs) in China, Mexico and New Zealand and the company also plans to very soon enter Japan market which is considered as next big opportunity for generic drug makers, Venkat Jasti, CEO, Suven Life Sciences told CNBC-TV18 today.
The NCEs patent earned by the companies can be used in treatment of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, attention deficient hyperactivity disorder, Huntington's, Parkinson and schizophrenia. With these new patents, the company now has 10 patents in China and 14 each granted by Mexico and New Zealand.
The Hyderabad-based biopharmaceutical company will also soon move the molecule named SUVN 502 in the phase 2A or proof of concept stage. The molecule can be used in treatment of Alzheimer’s. Apart from this, the company will also move two other molecules, one for depression and one for Schizophrenia into phase 1 during fiscal 2013-14.
Suven Life is also keen to increase its presence in Japan. The company is already supplying key raw materials to Japanese drug makers.
Below is the verbatim transcript of the interview
Q: We got news that four product patents for new compounds in China, Mexico and New Zealand were given to you. You have been filing us on these product patent news at regular intervals. What does this mean to your P&L?
A: Profit and loss (P&L) doesn’t get affected right away as these are innovative products. We are trying to file patents all over the world. Without the patents it has no value when we do the clinical trials and eventually take it to the market. As of now we have filed 18 product patents. As and when we receive the grant of the patent at any particular country we will keep informing the investors. However there is no immediate P&L affect.
Q: When do you expect if at all – the time table, are you at an advanced stage – second or third stage phase in the clinical trial for the molecules you filed first?
A: SUVN 502 has finished phase 1 and also the bridge studies are going on for phase 2A which will happen in 2014. Before that there is a possibility to get collaborated with an out-licensing partner. However being risk averse in the whole pharma world everybody is looking for a phase 2A compound which is a Proof of Concept (PoC) in the patients. This is for Alzheimer’s.
As a matter of fact similar compound which has finished phase 2A by Lundbeck has been out licensed to Otsuka last month for USD 150 million upfront and total of USD 800 million.
A: We are always looking for buyers and due diligence is always going on. We cannot guarantee or give you a timeline at this juncture. We are going ahead with our progress with moving the molecule into phase 2A. We are also moving two other molecules, one for depression and one for Schizophrenia into phase 1 during fiscal 2013-14.
Q: I was reading a report that you were looking to raise about USD 20-25 million to fund these trials, any update on that?
A: The actual work will start in 2014. We are looking for partners and also we are finalising the process for raising funds. Some of them may be internal accruals since our Contract Research And Manufacturing Services (CRAMS) is ramping up very well and some may be through loan, which will be finalized before the end of the year.
Q: The other report which I found quite interesting was how some of the Indian companies are looking at Japan as an interesting generic market. Would you be also looking to explore that market if you haven’t already?
A: We are working with some Japanese customers not in the generic space, but in the innovative space as a supplier of the key raw materials for them on CRAMS basis. We are also working with Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) on niche molecules. We are likely to get some success within the near future and that will be going to Japan also.
Q: You may not be able to give us how Q4 panned out because you have not come out with numbers yet but in general how is the new fiscal begun and what is your internal target for full year, that is targets for FY14 and some qualitative idea of how Q4 was?
A: Qualitatively we expect to have 22-25 percent growth on the top-line and the bottom-line. Full year also went very well and the numbers would come out after the board meeting next month.