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Wockhardt to Enhance R&D Capabilities in Drug Innovation

Mumbai: Pharma firm Wockhardt will continue to strengthen its R&D capabilities to develop innovative and technologically advanced medicines, a top official has said. Addressing the shareholders in the company's annual report, Wockhardt Managing Director Murtaza Khorakiwala said the firm has set up three world-class, multi-disciplinary R&D facilities in India, the UK and the US, which are engaged in studies and experiments to develop new drugs and novel drug delivery systems for tomorrow.

"We believe that the future lies in innovation, which will lead to quantum leaps in growth. We are determined to continue to focus on enhancing and strengthening our R&D capabilities," Mr Khorakiwala said. "The R&D efforts comprise of over 850 scientists, research associates and technicians focusing on generics and new drug discovery programme concentrating on anti-infectives and recombinant bio-pharmaceuticals," he added. Wockhardt has increased its investment in R&D from 9.3 per cent of total sales in FY14 at Rs 450 crore to 11.5 per cent of total sales in FY15 at Rs 515 crore. 

The company said R&D efforts has resulted into the company building its intellectual property (IP) base by filing 267 patents and winning 82 patents in FY15, taking cumulative patents filed to 2,268 and patents won to 341. Wockhardt's new drug discovery programme also won QIDP (Qualified Infections Disease Product) status by US FDA for three new breakthrough drugs under development, making it the first pharma company in the world to hold this distinction. These anti-infective drugs will have an accelerated development trajectory to cater to critical and unmet needs in the antibiotics space, Mr Khorakiwala said. 

The company is looking to continue its focus on building domestic business, sustaining business in developed markets and exploring new markets globally. "To meet unmet medical needs across the world, we will continue to focus on building our domestic business, sustaining business in developed markets and exploring new markets globally," Mr Khorakiwala said. With manufacturing and R&D facilities in India, the UK and the US, Wockhardt caters to global markets across India, US, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, he added. 

In FY 15, its international business accounted for 72 per cent of total sales, with the domestic business contributing 28 per cent, registering a growth of 24 per cent over FY14. "Wockhardt has become the largest Indian generics company in the UK and largest generic pharma player in Ireland," he said. In the domestic market too, the company's five brands are amongst the top 300 brands and holds the fourth position in pain management segment. The company said as a result of creation of robust quality and manufacturing operations, UK MHRA lifted the statement of non-compliance from the Chikalthana plant at Aurangabad and granted restricted Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certificate after their inspection. 

The US FDA team inspected the new quality control systems with automation features at Aurangabad facility. The company believes that all the outstanding issues at its plants pertaining to US FDA will be resolved in reasonable period of time.


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