Advinus, Celgene initiate R&D collaboration


Bangalore, Feb 09, 2012: Advinus Therapeutics, an emerging drug discovery and development company which caters to the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries, announced the initiation of a discovery and development collaboration with Celgene Global Health.

The collaboration, which has been agreed upon for an initial term of 18 months, will focus on therapies for Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL), the second-largest parasitic killer in the world with an estimated 500,000 cases each year. Recent estimates show that more than 90% of cases occur in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Brazil and Sudan. The collaboration has been formed to specifically address unmet patient needs as current treatments have significant drawbacks, including route of administration, length of treatment (21 to 28 days), and emerging parasitic resistance.

The partnership reaffirms the commitment of Advinus and CGH for developing drugs to treat neglected diseases. This new collaboration highlights the relative experience and expertise of both companies in analytical chemistry, discovery biology, screening and pre-formulation. The goal of the project is to identify and develop compounds that are safe and effective against VL parasites.

“This collaboration leverages a wealth of early discovery research breakthroughs from Celgene and Advinus’ capabilities to translate such breakthroughs into drug candidates with speed and cost-effectiveness”, said Dr Rashmi Barbhaiya, CEO and MD of Advinus. “Such collaborative models are needed to fulfill unmet medical needs for neglected diseases and it can also provide guidance for a new paradigm of developing medicines for global needs with effective resource utilization, speed and cost-effectiveness.”

“VL is a true unmet medical need,” said Mr Jerome B Zeldis, MD, PhD, and CEO of Celgene Global Health. “We look forward to working with Advinus to derive VL drugs using the vast chemical library of Celgene as a starting point for development.”

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