30 August 2012

Indian Pharma MNC Piramal Investing in German Molecular Imaging Technology

Berlin – 30 August 2012 (PRNewswire) - In April 2012, Indian MNC Piramal took over Bayer HealthCare's molecular-imaging pipeline and has since then been continuing research and development work on the acquired PET radiopharmaceuticals in its labs in Berlin. Speaking at a press conference Mr. Ajay Piramal, Chairman of Piramal Group commented on the strategy saying, "Molecular imaging is one of the key technologies paving the way to individualized medicine. Our acquisition of a powerful pipeline in this field hence, is an important milestone on the road to an innovative pharmaceutical portfolio for us." 

Florbetaben, Piramal's most advanced PET tracer, enables the detection of beta-amyloid deposits in the brain and could therefore open the door to the early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. "A phase III study to test the reliability of florbetaben in the histopathological detection of beta-amyloid has been successfully completed. Submission of the dossier for drug approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is expected later in 2012. In addition, Piramal Imaging is working on other PET tracers for various medical indications," said Dr. Swati Piramal, Vice-Chairperson of Piramal Enterprises 

According to Christoph von Knobelsdorff, Permanent Secretary at the Berlin Senate's Department of Economics, Technology and Research, Piramal Imaging's decision to come to Berlin is a real gain for the city as a business location, underlining its reputation as a center of knowledge-based economy. "Piramal has made a good choice with Berlin. The healthcare industry in the capital region is highly innovative and offers above-average growth potential. The density of the scientific and research institutions here is unique throughout Europe. Our policy aims to create intense links between business, research and science." 

"The field of molecular imaging is made attractive by the availability of excellent technical equipment and the vicinity of renowned academic institutions, such as Charité University Hospital and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine. This is a good environment for interdisciplinary exchange between academia and industry," confirms Professor Günter Stock, President of the Berlin-BrandenburgAcademy of Sciences and spokesperson of the network HealthCapital Berlin-Brandenburg. Researching novel agents to improve medical diagnostics has been a long tradition in Berlin. This is where the first commercially available X-ray contrast agent was developed - as early as 1931. Then in the late 1980s Berlin researchers developed the first contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), revolutionizing medical imaging. 

The Piramal Group, led by Ajay G. Piramal, has interests in a myriad of industries that encompass healthcare, drug discovery & research, diagnostics, glass, real estate and financial services. The Group's turnover exceeded $ 900 million in FY2011. 

Piramal Enterprises is one of India's largest diversified companies, with a presence in pharmaceutical, financial services and information management sectors. Piramal Enterprises had consolidated revenues of $ 450 million in FY2012. In the pharmaceutical space, PEL is one of leading custom manufacturing player globally, has presence in the global critical care segment with a portfolio of inhalation and injectable anesthetics and its OTC business is ranked no. 7 in India. PEL is also engaged in drug discovery & research and has strong pipeline of development products. 

Piramal Imaging GmbH is a 100% daughter of Piramal SA and was recently created through the acquisition of worldwide rights for a molecular imaging research and development portfolio of Bayer AG by Piramal Enterprises. 

Source: Piramal Group (PRNewswire)