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Indian Indices Open Flat
Tue, 29 Mar 09:30 am

Major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a negative note with stock market in China and Japan are trading lower by 1.2% and 0.7% respectively. Benchmark indices in US ended their previous session on a flattish note. The rupee is trading at 66.66 per US$.

Indian stock markets have opened the day on a flattish note. The BSE Sensex is trading lower by 12 points (down 0.1%) and NSE Nifty is trading lower by 2 points (down 0.01%). BSE Mid Cap is trading marginally lower by 0.1%. Whereas, BSE Small Cap is trading marginally higher by 0.1%. Major sectoral indices have opened the day on a mixed note with stocks from pharmaceutical sectors witnessing selling pressure. However, stocks from capital goods sector is witnessing buying interest.

As per an article in Livemint, Dr Reddy's Laboratories entered into a licensing agreement with US based XenoPort Inc Ltd. As per this agreement, Dr Reddy will be granted an exclusive right to develop and commercialize XenoPort Inc's clinical-stage oral new chemical entity (NCE) XP23829. Dr Reddy's will be making an upfront payment of US$ 47.5 million and US$ 2.5 million for transfer of certain clinical trial materials. Dr Reddy will hold exclusive rights to develop and market the product.

Dr Reddy's plans to develop the in-licensed drug for the treatment of moderate to severe chronic plague Psoriasis and may potentially develop for relapsing of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Under the terms of agreement, XenoPort will be eligible to receive amount up to US$ 190 million upon the achievement of regulatory milestones over the period of years. Further, XenoPort will also be eligible to receive upto US$ 250 m upon achievement of commercial milestones and royalty payments (in mid-teens) based on potential net sales of the drug in the US.

However, the agreement will be enforceable only upon receiving an approval from the US government under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Antitrust Improvements Act.

Reportedly, psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disorder that manifests in the skin and joints. The management stated that as many as 7.5 million Americans suffer from this condition. This in-licensed NCE is under Ph II development. As Dr Reddy takes the drug further for development, its R&D expenses are likely to surge in the upcoming period. Having said that, if the drug becomes successful this would be first innovative drug launched by Dr Reddy.

In another news update, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) intends to invest around Rs 340 billion over the next three years in two fields in the Krishna Godavari (KG) basin. The two fields are forecast to yield 50 billion cubic metres of gas and 23 million tonnes of crude oil over their lifetime.

The decision to invest in the KG basin comes after the governments offer for free market pricing for natural gas extracted from the deep sea blocks. Further the management stated that the company would be able to recover the cost of oilfield development before beginning to share profits with the government.

ONGC's director finance A.K. Srinivasan stated that he anticipates revenue to go up by $1,896 million and profit after tax by $585 million in 2020-21 as a result of oil and gas produced in the cluster. The company seeks to start production of gas from June 2019 and oil from March 2020.

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