Napo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Enters Plant Screening Agreement With Nicholas Piramal India Limited For Diabetes

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. and MUMBAI, India, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Napo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., ("Napo" or "the Company") , which focuses on the development and commercialization of proprietary pharmaceuticals for the global marketplace in collaboration with local partners, and Nicholas Piramal India Limited ("NPIL"), one of India's leading pharmaceutical companies, today announced that they have entered into a Plant Screening Agreement to discover novel diabetes therapeutic agents. As part of the agreement, NPIL will utilize its high throughput screening facility and natural product chemistry expertise along with biological testing capabilities to identify active compounds from Napo's library of medicinal plant extracts from tropical regions. Napo and NPIL will jointly own all products that are developed under the agreement.

Lisa Conte, Napo's CEO commented, "This agreement provides an excellent opportunity for us to expand our pipeline with potentially significant novel discoveries targeting the needs of global healthcare - in this case diabetes. Diabetes has become an illness of global proportions and the incidence is expected to reach approximately 30 percent of the population over the next 15 years, with the most staggering growth rates in developing and emerging economies. Our agreement with NPIL is further indication of our commitment to develop pharmaceuticals through partnerships that can benefit global populations and at the same time provide enhanced financial returns to shareholders. Our joint efforts in this agreement complement Napo's ongoing effort to develop NP-500, a candidate for Phase II clinical development with a novel mechanism of action against Type II diabetes and metabolic syndrome."

Dr. Somesh Sharma, CSO, NPIL added, "We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with Napo and look forward to a close working relationship. This agreement allows us to utilize our state of the art screening capabilities and expertise in working with natural products for both companies' benefit, and at the same time provide NPIL with access to new product opportunities. Diabetes is a major focus of NPIL and the incidence of diabetes among the populations we serve has grown significantly over the past decade to where it is a major health concern."

For more information please contact: Napo Pharmaceuticals, Inc Lisa Conte, Chief Executive Officer (001) + 650 616 1902 Charles Thompson, Chief Financial Officer (001) + 650 616 1903 Buchanan Communications + 44 (0) 20 7466 5000 Tim Anderson, Mary-Jane Johnson Nomura Code Securities Limited + 44 (0) 20 7776 1205 Clare Terlouw About Napo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Napo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is focused on developing and commercializing proprietary pharmaceuticals for the global marketplace, in collaboration with local partners, in order to address major global unmet medical needs in developed and developing countries. Napo is currently developing crofelemer, which is in various stages of clinical development for four distinct product indications, including one product in Phase III, two in Phase II and one in Phase I clinical trials. Napo's four indications include AIDS diarrhea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), acute infectious diarrhea (traveler's diarrhea and cholera) and pediatric diarrhea. The Company has been granted FDA fast- track status for the AIDS and IBS products and has generated extensive safety data on more than 1500 patients across all indications. Napo's partners include Trine Pharmaceuticals Inc., Glenmark Pharmaceuticals of Mumbai, India and the AsiaPharm Group Ltd., headquartered in Singapore and Shanghai. Napo's clinical stage product for diabetes and metabolic syndrome, NP-500 is a candidate for Phase 2 clinical development. Napo also has a medicinal product library of over 2,300 plants, which is the subject of pre-clinical discovery collaboration.

About Nicholas Piramal India Limited

Nicholas Piramal India Limited ("NPIL") is one of India's largest pharmaceutical companies with a growth track record of 29% Revenues CAGR since 1988. The Company is currently ranked 4th in the Indian market with a diverse product portfolio spanning nine therapeutic areas. NPIL had consolidated Revenues of Rs. 15.8 billion in 2005-06. The Company has R&D capabilities in Discovery Research, Drug Delivery Systems, Custom Chemical Synthesis and Process Innovation. It has world-class formulations facilities and USFDA- approved API facilities without any 483s.

NPIL has a long track record of successful collaboration with innovator companies. Since 2003, the Company has made significant investments in Discovery Research and also in Custom Manufacturing Operations ("CMO") for large and medium-sized innovator companies. NPIL has a global CMO footprint across North America, Europe & Asia and is committed to respecting Intellectual Property.

NPIL is listed in India on the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange. For further information, please e-mail or visit

Napo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

CONTACT: Lisa Conte, Chief Executive Officer, +1-650-616-1902, or CharlesThompson, Chief Financial Officer, +1-650-616-1903, both of NapoPharmaceuticals, Inc.; or Tim Anderson, or Mary-Jane Johnson, both ofBuchanan Communications, +44-(0)20-7466-5000; or Clare Terlouw of NomuraCode Securities Limited, +44-(0)20-7776-1205

Back to news