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GangaGen, Eli Lilly tie up to outlicense novel product

Our Bureau  |  Bangalore 

Life Sciences, subsidiary of Bangalore-based Biotechnologies, has signed up with Elanco Animal Health, a division of pharma major Eli Lilly, to develop and commercialise anti-bacterial products derived from bacteriophages.
With this tie-up, the company plans to tap lucrative $140 million north American cattle (beef) market where the control of E.coli 0157 (Hamburger disease) in cattle needs urgent attention.
Addressing a press conference, here on Thursday, J Ramachandran, president Biotechnologies, said the company has signed up with Elanco for collaborative research, technology outlicensing and commercialisation to develop anti-bacterial products derived from bacteriophages.
After getting a patent for anti-bacterial products derived from bacteriophages, it has conducted pre-regulatory phase I and II limited trials on animals of a product to eliminate E.coli 0157 pathogens before the slaughter of food animals. Now through a tie-up with a pharma major it is looking for commercialisation.
Bacteriophages are viruses that attack and kill bacterial cells, composed only of DNA and protein.
It expects to complete large scale field trials and get regulatory approval for the product next year with the help of
"When the product hits the market, it will be the first drug to cure E.coli 0157 in cattle and give relief to 140 million cattle meant for the north American beef market," claimed Ramachandran.
In addition to cure for E.coli 0157, the company is developing phage products for control of bacteria that pose a food safety risk to humans as well as bacterial diseases in production and companion animals (pets), he added.
The company raised $5 million (ICF Ventures invested $2 million) since inception in 2001 and spent the entire amount along with internal accruals of $3 million in developing the novel bacteriophages.
To take the technology forward, the company is again raising $6 to $8 million in round II, he disclosed.
Talking about possible revenues from commercialising the anti-bacterial product (E.coli 0157), Ramachandran said, "we expect revenues to come only after the product hits the market in early 2007 and full revenue to flow in 2009-2010 to be around $50 million."

First Published: Fri, September 16 2005. 00:00 IST