Thursday, July 14, 2005

Birla to foray in Biotechnology

The Aditya Birla group is said to be in an advanced stage of talks with Ahmedabad-based Intas Pharma to take over the latter's biotechnology arm. With this acquisition, the Rs 28,000-crore Aditya Birla group, which enjoys a huge brand equity will be the third largest industrial house in India — after Reliance and the Tatas — to foray into the biotechnology business. The Rs 400-crore Intas Pharma has a research and development division on biotechnology discoveries. Intas was planning to develop new technologies for biotechnology products besides making forays in preventive vaccines and wsa looking for a strategic partner for this arm. Intas Pharmeceuticals undertakes R&D activities in biotechnology products and vaccines clinical research for new molecules (phase III trials) are in progress. It has products for cancer treatment and acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APML), which is the cancer of white blood cells that can affect patients at any time in their lives.