Indian pharma major Dr. Reddy's Laboratories will launch a first-of-its-kind pill to tackle heart diseases in the second half of 2007, it was announced Thursday.
The company has teamed up with researchers at University of Auckland, New Zealand, for trials of the groundbreaking 'polypill' that combines four medicines including aspirin and statin, commonly used to treat heart ailments.
India records nearly 2.8 million deaths a year due to cardio-vascular diseases.
'Trials in India are underway. We are conducting trials on 220 patients and after testing on 440 more cases, the product will be launched in the Indian market,' said Satish Reddy, managing director of Dr. Reddy's Lab.
'We have already received the necessary approval from the government for conducting the trails. We hope the product will be available to masses in the second quarter of 2007,' he told reporters at the New Zealand High Commission here.
'This is first-of-its-kind drug in the world to tackle heart problem and will open newer vistas to handle such ailments,' Reddy told IANS, adding it will cost Rs.100 for 30 tablets.
New Zealand's High Commissioner to India Graeme Waters said: 'This project holds open the possibility of revolutionising an important aspect of healthcare in both developing and developed countries.'
The new drug will be cheaper to administer and more effective in preventing strokes and heart attacks, said Anthony Rodgers, a researcher at Auckland University.
The trial aims to confirm that the polypill is effective in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure - known causes of heart attacks and strokes.
The Health Research Council of New Zealand invested NZ$350,000 to support the overall co-ordination of the trial and recruitment in New Zealand. Dr. Reddy's will invest NZ$ 7.5 million in developing the polypill and providing supplies for clinical trials globally.