MU Partners With Indian Pharmaceutical Company

7 years 2 weeks 1 day ago Thursday, December 02 2010 Dec 2, 2010 Thursday, December 02, 2010 2:31:45 PM CST December 02, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA - University researchers and leaders of the Indian company, Shasun Pharmaceuticals Ltd., gathered Thursday morning to celebrate the creation of a new drug company, Shasun NBI. The new company is working to develop a drug that would fight against prostate cancer, which kills approximately 32,000 U.S. men each year. The event was held at the MU Life Sciences Business Incubator at Monsanto place.

Kattesh Katti and Raghuraman Kannah are nanomedicine experts at MU. The two have worked together under their company, Nanoparticle Biochem Inc. (NBI,) to developed a treatment for late-stage prostate cancer using nanotechnology. The drug is currently undergoing small-animal testing, but human testing could begin within 18-24 months.

"We are determined to continue to aggressively develop our clinical and translational research infrastructure so that MU will become a national and international referral center for a variety of patients," said Dr. Jamal Ibdah, senior associate dean for research and director of the MU Institute for Clinical and Translational Science.

Columbia residents could benefit widely from this partnership. If the FDA approves human testing, patients at MU clinics could be the first recipients. Additionally, the company is doing what it calls "reverse outsourcing," bringing five research jobs to Columbia from India. The company leaders said the potential for more jobs in the coming years is a high possibility. Finally, if the drug is successfully approved, the state as well as the university could benefit in profits from its sale.

Shasun has been audited by the FDA for more than twenty years and is one of the world's leading suppliers of ibuprofen. It is funding MU with $1.5 million to hire scientists and conduct tests with the goal of advancing the drug towards human testing.

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