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Nobex, Biocon to Develop Oral Insulin Product

Agreement between U.S., Indian firms targets commercially viable new treatment for growing, global diabetes problem

Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and Bangalore, India - October 20, 2004 – Nobex Corporation, a drug development company specializing in medicinal chemistry-based drug delivery and Biocon, Limited have entered into a joint development agreement for the global co-development of an oral insulin product for the treatment of diabetes.

The collaboration combines the proprietary peptide oral-delivery and manufacturing technology of U.S.-based Nobex with the proven peptide production capabilities of Biocon, India’s leading biotechnology company. The firms will focus on the development of an oral insulin product that can be used to treat a diabetic population that will increase to more than 200 million worldwide by the year 2030.

“We’ve known for some time that oral insulin is a commercially viable treatment,” said Dr. Christopher H. Price, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nobex. “In early 2004, Nobex discovered a new modified insulin molecule with much better oral absorption and potency than previous compounds. Now, working collaboratively with a partner having Biocon’s resources, talents and credentials in insulin manufacturing and product development, we are taking the critical next steps in turning good science into a commercially viable product.”

“All of us at Biocon are pleased and excited with the opportunity to partner with Nobex on such an important product opportunity,” said Ms. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairman and Managing Director of Biocon. “Our company is committed to finding biotechnology solutions for customers worldwide. By working with Nobex to explore the development of a much-needed new means of treating diabetes, we are taking another step forward to support our growing reputation in the U.S. and global marketplace.”

Both companies indicated that the collaborative effort in developing the oral insulin product will require several years to reach the market but that they expect to have meaningful clinical data and progress toward manufacturing within two years. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

NOBEX Corporation is a privately held drug product development company that specializes in medicinal chemistry applied to optimizing the delivery of therapeutic peptide drugs by oral and other non-injectable routes of administration. Nobex focuses on developing products for chronic indications in the metabolic and cardiovascular therapeutic areas. The company has advanced three products into clinical study with several other products in preclinical development on its own and with partners or collaborators including, Duke University, and the Mayo Clinic. For more information, visit

Established in 1978, Biocon is India’s premier biotechnology company. Biocon and its three subsidiary companies – Syngene International Limited, Clinigene International Limited and Biocon Biopharmaceuticals Limited – form a fully integrated biotechnology enterprise specializing in biopharmaceuticals, custom research, clinical research and enzymes. With successful initiatives in drug discovery, clinical development, bioprocessing and global marketing, Biocon develops products and solutions to partners and customers across 70 countries.


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