Cipla partners with CSIR-CDRI to develop advanced ophthalmic antifungal treatment

The collaboration aims to leverage the combined expertise and resources of both organizations to develop a safe and efficacious drug for fungal keratitis

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New Delhi: Cipla Limited has entered into a collaborative research agreement with CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute (CSIR-CDRI), a constituent laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India, to jointly develop a novel ophthalmic formulation for fungal keratitis.
The collaboration aims to leverage the combined expertise and resources of both organizations to develop a safe and efficacious drug for fungal keratitis.
Globally, approximately 1.2 million cases of fungal keratitis are reported every year with tropical countries recording a higher incidence. Fungal keratitis often occurs following ocular trauma and exposure to fungal pathogens from organic matter, thus putting agricultural workers at greater risk.  Other risk factors include the use of local steroid eye drops, injury, poor personal hygiene, and regular contact lens wear. Left untreated, the condition can result in corneal destruction, leading to a profound loss of vision. Existing therapies have limitations, such as the need for prolonged and frequent use of drugs, and emerging drug resistance.
CSIR-CDRI has developed a prototype formulation for an antifungal drug to optimize its delivery in the eye. In preclinical studies, this formulation supports faster resolution of the infection. Cipla will scale up the product, conduct the required studies and seek regulatory approvals for commercialization, ensuring accessibility for those in need.
Commenting on this association Umang Vohra, Managing Director, and Global CEO, Cipla, said, “At Cipla, our growth is centered on our commitment to patients, extending care to communities through patient-centric innovation. This collaboration with CSIR-CDRI is a testament to our commitment to providing innovative and top-quality healthcare solutions to all those in need, encompassing drugs, devices, and diagnostics. With this, we are sustaining our antimicrobial resistance stewardship by investing in anti-infectives and leading industry voice in the fight against AMR.”
Welcoming this partnership, Dr Radha Rangarajan, Director CSIR-CDRI said, “Our research focuses on finding innovative, cost-effective solutions for India’s unmet clinical needs. CDRI scientists have developed a unique ophthalmic formulation of the antifungal drug. This in turn, is expected to accelerate cure and lead to better outcomes. Our collaboration with Cipla will enable the translation of the research into a drug product, with the potential to reduce the burden of disease.”
This research and development endeavor unites both Cipla and CSIR-CDRI in their commitment to affordable healthcare. The two partners have an ongoing collaboration for the development of Levormeloxifene for contraception.