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Wockhardt: R&D efforts kick start

Nov 22, 2001

Recently, Wockhardt announced filing application for conducting clinical trials on its anti-infective molecule, WCK-771.The company’s R&D initiative started some four years back. Though at a very early stage these seem to be bearing fruit. The company recently held an analyst meet to update mainly on this development. Wockhardt highlighted the molecule’s superior safety and efficacy over currently available drugs such as Vancomycin (Aventis Pharma) and Linezolid (Pharmacia). According to the company, globally there are only a few competing drugs, which are under clinical development for the above product. The prevailing market size for such a drug is in excess of US$ 1 bn. Considering that the molecule has just finished pre-clinical trials it would take another 6-9 months time to complete Phase I clinical trials.

Wockhardt informed that it has started exploring opportunities for out licensing the molecule. However, it expects final out licensing deal in between Phase I and Phase II trials i.e. in another 12-15 months time frame. Wockhardt said it also has another anti-infective molecule in its pipeline (WCK 919) and clinical trials on this are expected to start in a year’s time.

Though the company has made a good beginning, the pipeline is very pre-mature. It should be understood that chances of Phase I molecule finally succeeding are low and any earnings visibility even from out licensing the molecule is far fetched at this point of time. At the current market price of Rs 408, the stock trades at 14.5x FY02 expected earnings.


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