Healthcare Global Enterprises lists at big discount to its issue price

The smooth ride of healthcare stocks might have come to a halt with the listing of Bengaluru-based HealthCare Global Enterprises (HCG), an oncology chain that received a cold shoulder from the markets on its listing day.

The stock listed much below its issue price as market sentiment and an oversupply of IPOs in the space might have taken the sheen off, say industry analysts.

HCG opened at Rs 210, which is the lower end of the issue’s price band of Rs 208-218, however, towards the end of the day, it tanked 19% to close at Rs 171 on the BSE despite a strong broader market.

“The market sentiment towards pharma and healthcare stock is bad right now,” said Daljit Singh, head of research at brokerage firm India Nivesh. “Also, there is an oversupply of healthcare IPOs.”

HCG, which operates the largest chain of oncology hospitals in India, has marque investors like Premji Investments and Temasek, among others. The company has raised Rs 650 crore through the IPO.

A part of the sum would be used to pay the company’s debt. The issue was oversubscribed by 1.6x. Lack of interest from investors for HCG is surprising as its peers which were listed few months ago had received a thumping response.

Narayana Hrudayalaya, which operates in a similar business as HCG had jumped over 30% on the day of its listing in January. One of the investment bankers that advised HCG said that they might have got the timing wrong.

“It is yearend, so different funds would have had different priorities, but once the market sees the quarterly earnings, the stock will pick up,” said the head of an investment bank who did not wish to be named.


Source: ETHealthworld

Date: 31st March, 2016.

Indian-led team of doctors develops technology to monitor cancer treatment

A team of Indian scientists from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School have made an important breakthrough by developing a nano-technology which will help monitor the effectiveness of cancer therapy within hours of treatment.

“We have developed a nanotechnology, which first delivers an anticancer drug specifically to the tumour, and if the tumour starts dying or regressing, it then starts lighting up the tumour in real time,” said Shiladitya Sen Gupta, a principal investigator at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH).

“This way you can monitor whether a chemotherapy is working or not in real time, and switch the patients to the right drug early on. One doesn’t need to wait for months while taking a toxic chemotherapy only to realise later and after side effects that the drug hasn’t worked,” Gupta, a co-corresponding author of the breakthrough research published online this week in ‘The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’, told PTI.

The first author of the paper is Ashish Kulkarni, who comes from a small village in Maharashtra. A junior faculty at Harvard, Kulkarni trained as a Chemical Engineer at ICT Mumbai, then did a PhD in chemistry at the University of Cincinnati.

Kulkarni said by using this approach, the cells light up the moment a cancer drug starts working.

“We can determine if a cancer therapy is effective within hours of treatment. Our long-term goal is to find a way to monitor outcomes very early so that we don’t give a chemotherapy drug to patients who are not responding to it,” he said.

“We’ve demonstrated that this technique can help us directly visualise and measure the responsiveness of tumours to both types of drugs,” Kulkarni said.

Other members of the research team are Poornima Rao, Siva Natarajana, Aaron Goldman, Venkata S Sabbisetti, Yashika Khater, Navya Korimerla, Vineethkrishna Chandrasekara and Raghunath A Mashelkar.

Except Goldman, all are Indian researchers.

“Current techniques, which rely on measurements of the size or metabolic state of the tumour, are sometimes unable to detect the effectiveness of an immunotherapeutic agent as the volume of the tumour may actually increase as immune cells begin to flood in to attack the tumour,” Kulkarni said.

He said reporter nanoparticles, however, can give “us an accurate read out of whether or not cancer cells are dying”.

The technology developed by the group can be used for monitoring the effectiveness of immunotherapy, a report said.

Using a nanoparticle that delivers a drug and then fluoresces green when cancer cells begin dying, they were able to visualise whether a tumour is resistant or susceptible to a particular treatment much sooner than currently available clinical methods, said a statement from BWH.


Source: ETHealthworld

Date: 29th March, 2016.

India’s total insured losses at $1 bn in 2015: Swiss Re

MUMBAI: Even as the country’s total economic losses from natural and man-made disasters exceeded $6.2 billion in 2015, the total insured losses were at just $1 billion, says a report.

According to a sigma study by Swiss Re, total economic losses from all disasters, including natural and man-made events, exceeded $6.2 billion or 6.8 per cent of the global losses in 2015.

However, it was down from $13.4 billion or 11.9 per cent of global losses in 2014, it added.

In India, uninsured losses from all catastrophes and man-made disasters were 84 per cent of the total losses in 2015, down from 93 per cent in 2014.

Total insured losses in India were $1 billion, up from $971 million the year before.

There were 25 catastrophic events in India last year, up from 20 in 2014, including the severe flash floods in Chennai in November that caused an estimated loss of $2.2 billion.

Insured losses were estimated at around $755 million, making these floods the second costliest insurance event in the country, according to sigma records.

Although the protection gap was smaller last year than in 2014, it was still very high relative to global and regional standards, the report pointed out.

The global protection gap was around 60 per cent in 2015, down from 68 per cent in 2014.

In Asia, the gap was at 81 per cent in 2015, down from 90 per cent in 2014.

The Swiss Re Group is a wholesale provider of reinsurance, insurance and other insurance-based forms of risk transfer.

Source: Economic  Times

Date: 31/03/2016

Sun Pharma acquires 14 brands from Novartis for $293m

Drug major Sun Pharma has forayed into the Japanese prescription market by acquiring 14 brands from Swiss drug firm Novartis for $293 million (over Rs 1,940 crore).

According to the agreements signed by the parties, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sun Pharma will acquire the portfolio consisting of 14 established prescription brands from Novartis for a cash consideration of $293 million, Sun Pharma said in a statement.

“Japan is a market of strategic interest for us. This acquisition marks Sun Pharma’s foray into the Japanese prescription market and provides us an opportunity to build a larger product portfolio in the future,” Sun Pharma managing director Dilip Shanghvi said.

Under the terms of the agreements, Novartis will continue to distribute these brands, for a certain period, pending transfer of all marketing authorisations to Sun Pharma’s subsidiary, it added.

The acquired brands will be marketed by a reliable and established local marketing partner under the Sun Pharma label.


Source: ETHealthworld

Date: 30th March, 2016.

ICICI Lombard launches e-platform to provide info on healthcare treatment

ICICI Lombard General Insurance,the largest private sector general insurer in the country, on Tuesday has launched ICICI Lombard Healthcare a unique, web enabled platform that allows consumers to get answers to critical questions pertaining to healthcare providers and treatment beforehand.


The insurer has created a hospital and consumer feedback based rating mechanism wherein consumers can get treatment related details and gain from actual experience from patients for over 1,000 hospitals across primary, secondary and tertiary segments.


Speaking at the launch of the initiative, Bhargav Dasgupta, MD & CEO, ICICI Lombard General Insurance said: “ To help our customers take informed decisions, we have taken the initiative to build a comprehensive information and ratings framework through the Health Advisor platform. For this, we have harnessed our access to healthcare providers and collatedfeedback from a large set of customers to build a robust platform.”


Any individual can gain access to critical information and queries pertaining to healthcare treatment and hospitals, including:

  • Compare cost of treatment for a particular ailment among hospitals.
  • Compare quality of care for a particular ailment among hospitals.
  • Compare hospitals on the basis of infrastructure, room and procedure costs.
  • Seek customer feedback and ratings on hospitals with authentication.
  • Seek help in terms of obtaining appointments at the hospital of their choice.

ICICI Lombard Health Advisor provides information on more than 30 treatment procedures, which have been selected on the basis of incidence rate. The procedures include removal of appendix, hernia, piles etc. It also provides information on bypass surgery, cataract operation, knee replacement surgery etc.


To ensure robustness of the platform, ICICI Lombard haspartnered with Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) to identify qualityindicators to compare healthcare providers in the Indian context.


Source : AIP News Bureau

Date: 29-03-2016

Dr Reddy’s signs US licensing agreement with XenoPort

Drug major Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has entered into a US licensing pact with XenoPort for the development and commercialization of latter’s clinical-stage oral new chemical entity XP23829.

Dr Reddy’s Laboratories will pay an upfront fee of USD 50 million (Rs 335 crore) to XenoPort and up to USD 440 million (Rs 2,935 crore) on achievement of certain milestones.

“Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and XenoPort, Inc have entered into a license agreement pursuant to which the company will be granted exclusive US rights for the development and commercialisation of XenoPort’sclinical-stage oral new chemical entity — XP23829,” the company said in a BSE filing today.

Dr Reddy’s Laboratories said it is planning to develop XP23829 as a potential treatment for moderate-to-severe chronic plaque psoriasis and may potentially develop XP23829 for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Elaborating on the payment, it said, “Under the terms of the agreement, the company will receive exclusive US rights to develop and commercialize XP23829 for all indications. In exchange for these rights, XenoPort will receive a USD 47.5 million upfront payment and an additional USD 2.5 million for transfer of certain clinical trial materials to the company.”

“XenoPort will also be eligible to receive up to USD 190 million upon the achievement by the company of certain regulatory milestones which could be achieved over a period of several years. In addition, XenoPort will be eligible to receive up to USD 250 million upon the achievement of commercial milestones and up to mid-teens royalty payments based on potential net sales of XP23829 in the US,” the company added.

“XP23829 complements our internal development efforts, which have primarily focused on the mild-to-moderate psoriasis segment to date. In other markets, fumarates have been used as first-line choices of treatment prior to initiation of biologic therapies in patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis.”

“We intend to initiate the registration programme for XP23829 as soon as feasible so that we can accelerate the availability of this important treatment choice for moderate-to-severe psoriasis patients in the US market,” Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Executive Vice President, Proprietary Products Group, Raghav Chari, said.

The agreement is subject to review by the US government under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Antitrust Improvements Act, as amended, and will become effective only after clearing HSR review.

Dr Reddy’s Laboratories’ shares were trading at Rs 3,047 apiece, down 0.01 per cent in the morning trade on the BSE.


Source: ETHealthworld

Date: 28th March, 2016.

Glenmark gets two ANDA approvals from USFDA

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has received final approval from the US health regulator USFDA for oral contraceptives and leukemia treatment injection.

“Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Inc, USA has been granted final approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol… and for levonorgestrel tablets,” it said in a BSE filing.

Drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol are generic version of Bayer Healthcare’s Yasmin tablets and levonorgestrel tablets is generic version of Teva Branded Pharmaceutical Products’ Plan B one-Step tablets.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals said it also got USFDA’s final approval for bendamustine hydrochloride injection, therapeutic equivalent to Cephalon, Inc’s Treanda.

Treanda is used for treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

“Today marks Glenmark’s first injectable granted approval by the USFDA,” the company said.

Glenmark said under the terms of prior settlement agreement, it will be able to launch bendamustine hydrochloride injection on November 1, 2019, or earlier under certain circumstances.

“Glenmark was one of the first ANDA(Abbreviated New Drug Applications) applicants to submit a substantially complete ANDA with paragraph IV certification, therefore, Glenmark may be eligible for 180 days of marketing exclusivity for bendamustine hydrochloride for injection, 25 mg/vial and 100 mg/vial,” it added.

According to IMS Health sales data for the 12 months to January 2016, Glenmark said Treanda achieved annual sales of around USD 92.6 million.

As per IMS data, Yasmin tablets achieved annual sales of around USD 131.7 million and Plan B one-Step tablets achieved annual sales of around USD 45.2 million for the 12 months period ended January 2016.

The company’s current portfolio consists of 112 products authorised for distribution in the US marketplace and 57 ANDA pending approval with the USFDA.

Shares of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals were trading 0.64 per cent up, at Rs 827.35 in the morning trade on BSE.


Source: ETHealthworld

Date: 29th March, 2016.