Curadev’s drug discovery slot machine

 A certain starkness marks the entrance to Curadev Pharma Private Limited. Freshly painted, the walls are bare; the reception desk is unmanned. The company does mostly science and doesn’t need a front desk; not yet. Ask them about the emptiness and co-founders Arjun Surya and Manish Tandon look at the ceiling and wistfully discuss how the AstraZeneca headquarters in...

Portea’s long (and short) cut to home care

Smack in the middle of the national narrative that India is one of the youngest countries, in 2013 Portea shined a light on elderly care. In absolute terms, the 100 million elderly population is only going to swell. While a few others existed in this space, Portea came blazing a trail as far as scale was concerned in providing “hospital-like...

Spotting health in India’s healthcare

The year is coming to an end. As we take stock, we are delighted to note what we've managed to do in three short months. And are grateful to have found you as readers. Thank you.Now we slip into a short break. Starting today, our writers will pick a theme each day, explaining some of the stories we've written...

Why India’s drug price regulator’s fate hangs in the balance

Pat came the reply, even before the question was posed.“It is up to the government to decide,” said a composed National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) chairman Bhupendra Singh.It was almost as if he knew what the question was. The chatter is constant, and speculation galore, that the power to regulate or cap drug prices in India is being wrested...

MedGenome: Deciphering disease and consumer market

If there is one company in India using the brute force of computing and high-speed sequencing to offer services in genetics, it is MedGenome. So important is the sequencing technology that owning a high-end machine becomes a news release. As it happened in October, after it bought Illumina’s Hiseq X Ten platform. If not in the consumer (or clinical) market,...

The Floodgate of Food Fortification

 October 27 was not a business-as-usual day for Mother Dairy milk vendors. For over four decades, the milk trucks had been bringing the same homogenised toned milk and refilling the bulk vending machines in the National Capital Region. On that Thursday morning, they were told that the milk was different. The look, taste and price were the same but...

How Bourn Hall got knocked down

It’s a hot Friday afternoon in Gurugram. In a lane curiously called Dalal Street, tucked away into a far corner is a two-storied white and brown coloured building called Bourn Hall Clinic. It is an infertility centre that stands like an oasis—so full of promise, but its sprawling and plush waiting lounge is empty. Save for the receptionist, an...

The mounting NPAs of India’s stem cell banks

It wasn’t a subject Deepak Ghaisas understood at all. But he was trying, even before he fully exited i-flex, a financial product company that he had incubated at Citi Group, which was acquired by Oracle in 2005. When Ghaisas did exit, in 2008, he was convinced he wanted to do something “different at age 50”. A year later, that...

The Great Pharma U-Turn

In a quiet disclosure to analysts last month, Lupin said it had added nearly a 1000 people to its field force, taking the total count to 5500. Sources say one more large company is going to make a similar hiring announcement in the next quarter. But wait. Did we not get to understand, just a few years ago, that most Indian pharma companies were cutting down medical representative hiring and “adopting technology to minimize the cost of marketing and promotion”? Whatever happened to that?

A dubious diabetes drug, regulatory confusion, and a potential PIL

It’s a barely a five-minute walk from New Delhi’s Patel Nagar metro station. The lane, bristling with commercial activity, stands out by itself. Sweet shops, bakeries, juice shops, spy camera vendors, or even a small outlet selling Ayurvedic medicines for in-vitro fertility treatment. South Patel Nagar has it all. Amidst all this chaos, in a building with a juice outlet...

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