Indian CMO Shasun inks Alzheimer's deal with Debiopharm

Swiss drugmaker Debiopharm has teamed up with India's Shasun Pharmaceuticals, striking a deal with the CMO to manufacture Huperzine-A, a drug designed to improve cognitive performance in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Under the deal, Shasun will make synthetic Huperzine-A through a proprietary 10-stage chemical synthesis process and then commercialize the treatment around the world, the company said. The drug is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor that has shown significant improvement in memory deficit in clinical trials, the companies said.

"Clinical studies have demonstrated the drug to enable significant improvement in both memory deficit and cognitive performance, and we are excited to have the opportunity to add value to this technology while contributing to improve people's quality of life," Debiopharm President Rolland-Yves Mauvernay said in a statement.

Shasun's shares jumped 5% on the Indian market after the deal's announcement, Business Standard reports, a significant rally after the company reported a 67% drop in third-quarter profits in February.

The Chennai-based Shasun has been expanding its manufacturing and commercialization presence around the world over the past year, investing about $50 million into plants in India and broadening its base in the U.K., where it operates a subsidiary business.

- read the announcement
- here's the Business Standard story