GVK Biosciences, Philadelphia co ink drug discovery pact

GVK Bio will be responsible for the target validation, lead identification and lead optimisation of small molecules in selected therapeutic areas

Hyderabad-based GVK Biosciences said it has entered into a drug discovery alliance with Philadelphia-based Moulder Center for Drug Discovery Research at Temple University.

As part of the multi-year integrated drug discovery collaboration, GVK Bio will be responsible for the target validation, lead identification and lead optimisation of small molecules in selected therapeutic areas, including cardiovascular, metabolic, and central nervous system disorders, it said in a statement.

"As part of the collaboration, GVK Bio will apply their integrated drug discovery expertise and technologies to identify interesting small molecules against selected targets," it added.

Moulder Center and GVK Bio will be jointly responsible for designing the molecules for this program. The molecules will be optimised and progressed through lead optimisation to a pre-clinical candidate, it said.

The Moulder Center is a drug discovery center that is used for both internal research within Temple University and for external collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotech companies and other universities.

"This collaboration with Temple University is among several academic collaborations GVK Bio has with leading research institutions" GVK Biosciences CEO Manni Kantipudi said.

Commenting on the development, Moulder Center for Drug Discovery Research Director Magid Abou-Gharbia said the business model reflects increasing trend of collaborations between academic centers of excellence and pharmaceutical companies to discover new drugs.

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Escorts FY11 net dips 5.5% to Rs125 crore

Escort’s board has also approved a dividend of Rs1.50 (15%) per equity share for the financial year ended September 30, 2011

Agri machinery products maker Escorts said its consolidated net profit has declined by 5.47% to Rs125.06 crore for the fiscal ended November 30, 2011, due to rise in raw material costs.

The company had posted a net profit of Rs132.31 crore in the previous fiscal, Escorts said in a statement. Consolidated net sales of the company, however, rose to Rs4,050.32 crore for the financial year ended November 30, 2011, against Rs3,324.21 crore in the last fiscal.

Escorts CMD Rajan Nanda said, "The Escorts annual results reflect the direct impact of a sharp rise in material costs in an overall inflationary economy characterised by price increase of raw material, higher petroleum prices and high interest rates."

He added, "Looking ahead, our aggressive market strategies, launch of new products, recent price revisions and an ongoing cost compression exercise should provide some cushion in the event of continued inflationary pressures."

The company's board has also approved a dividend of Rs1.50 (15%) per equity share for the financial year ended September 30, 2011.

On a standalone basis, the company posted a net profit of Rs120.08 crore for the fiscal, against Rs137.54 crore in the previous financial year.

On Tuesday, Escorts closed at Rs78.55 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 0.64% up from the previous close.

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Calcutta Stock Exchange launches NSE trading platform

CSE chairman Dipankar Chatterji said the exchange would now offer trading for cash segment and there was a plan to add derivative segment later

The Calcutta Stock Exchange (CSE) on Monday inaugurated NSE trading operation and introduced a Bangla language website in the presence of state Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee.

Trading in this NSE platform was expected to begin in the next two to three days. With this, CSE would now offer trading platform for both BSE and NSE.

CSE chairman Dipankar Chatterji said the exchange would now offer trading for cash segment and there was a plan to add derivative segment later. CSE was offering BSE trading platform since 2008.

CSE officials were expecting jump in daily average trading volume of Rs500 crore after the NSE trading platform in place.

The only operational regional stock exchange was also planning to take few more initiatives to keep itself afloat.

“CSE and United Bank may tie up for offering on line trading facility to the bank customers,” CSE managing director and CEO B Madhav Reddy said.

Meanwhile, now a trading member of CSE will be able to provide trading access to a customer to C-Star, BSE and NSE through single client registration.

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