An agreement has been signed between Department of Science and Technology (DST), Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd (DRL), University of Hyderabad (UoH) and Dr Reddy’s Institute of Life Sciences (DRILS) to initiate a DST & DRL sponsored project on “12-R-Lipoxygenase as Target for Discovery and Development of Drugs Against Psoriasis”. This project valued at Rs 190 lakhs was sanctioned by both DST (142 lakhs) under the Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Research Programme (DPRP) and DRL (48 Lakhs) to University of Hyderabad (Rs 136 lakhs) and DRILS (54 lakhs).
This agreement was signed in the presence of Prof. Appa Rao Podile (Honourable Vice-Chancellor, UoH), Mr Sardar Singh (Registrar, UoH), Dr Sobhana Bhaskaran (Scientist-E, Technology Development and Transfer Division, DST), Dr A. Venkateswarlu (Director, DRILS), Mr M.V. Narasimham (Senior Vice-President, Finance, DRL), Dr Uday Saxena (DRILS), Prof. P. Reddanna (Principal Investigator, Dean, School of Life Sciences, UoH), Prof. Manojit Pal (Principal Investigator, Dean of Academic Affairs, DRILS) and Dr Nooruddin Khan (Co-investigator, SLS, UoH).
The project focus is on developing anti-psoriatic drugs. Psoriasis and other skin disorders market is currently about USD 6-7 billion and expected to be about USD 13 billion in a span of 10 years (www.healthcare.globaldata.com). Most approved therapies for psoriasis are symptomatic. The specific disease modifying therapies include monoclonal antibodies, which are expensive and have safety and tolerability issues.
The approach that is being proposed here is the development of selective inhibitors of 12R-LOX by employing conventional as well as the molecular modeling and drug design approaches. The small molecule inhibitors will be stable, cost effective to synthesize, non-immunogenic (thus overcoming tolerability issues) and amenable to therapeutic formulation. Therefore, it is believed that with this novel approach there is opportunity in overcoming the unmet medical need.
In the long term, it is proposed to establish a National R&D facility to work on inflammatory disorders. Such a facility, animal models for targeted discovery of anti-psoriatic drugs, once established will become a National R&D facility for use by other investigators in the country.