Pitching Antibiotic Resistance Breakers (ARBs) as one of the prospective solutions to save the life of existing antibiotics, Mr. Saransh Chaudhary - CEO of Venus Medicine Research Centre (An R&D Unit of Venus Remedies Limited) called Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) “a global public health hazard than a regional crisis that will eventually subside”.
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is an evolving problem, in the words of Mr. Ban Ki-moon (former United Nations Secretary-General) "Drug resistance imposes huge costs on health systems and is taking a growing-and unnecessary toll in lives and threatening to roll back much of the progress we have made". A review paper published in 2014 showed that by 2050, the estimated number of deaths due to AMR is expected to reach 10 million/year and it may cause a cumulative loss of approximately $100 trillion to the global GDP if left unchecked.
Through the ARB approach, Venus Remedies Limited seeks to preserve the efficacy of existing antibiotics to improve the health of people and relieve global communities from prospective economic stress. (SDG & 3)
York University- Schulich School of Business
Founded in India in the year 1989, Venus Remedies Limited embarked on a journey to provide innovative healthcare solutions to unmet medical needs. Foreseeing AMR as a threat to humanity and the dearth of new antibiotic development, the company started developing novel solutions to this “complex medical problem” in the year 2003.
Through strong research and persistent efforts, the company successfully completed all formalities and introduced its first ARB formulation named “Elores” in the Indian market in 2013. Elores is a novel combination of an existing antibiotic (ceftriaxone), an existing beta-lactamase inhibitor (sulbactam), and an antibiotic resistance breaker (disodium edetate) that work synergistically to ‘rescue’ antibiotics’ (in this case, ceftriaxone) activity and suppress the emergence of resistance against the antibiotic.
Elores is patented in more than 45+ countries and Venus Remedies Limited is utilizing its global presence in over 70 countries (especially in low- and middle-income countries) to provide this formulation at an affordable cost to treat serious complicated infections. (SDG 3)
The groundwork for this innovation was laid during the inception of the firm with a mission to “align the best scientific approaches to develop new solutions for global health challenges”. Since the beginning, Venus has established itself as a world-renowned organization due to strong research & development initiatives and breakthroughs that are brought about by extensive research and synergistic efforts of an experienced team of scientists and professionals.
The company’s attention was drawn towards ARBs around the early 2000s when Dr. Manu Chaudhary, Joint Managing Director, Venus Remedies Limited realized that the emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant pathogens was accelerating. In the past 80 years, antibiotics had revolutionized medicine, transformed human health, and saved millions of lives. Therefore, the emergence of pathogens resistant to these drugs was perceived by the company’s management to be an alarming situation. Therefore, the company’s management decided to work toward finding a solution to this complex medical problem.
Tasked with finding solutions to antibiotic resistance, researchers at Venus singled out ARBs as the logical way forward. The rationale behind this decision was that while pathogens will eventually develop resistance to any new antibiotic, an antibiotic resistance breaker can ensure the sustainability of older antibiotics by reviving their efficacy. This is because even if resistance is developed for the first ARB combination, a second ARB could potentially rescue the same antibiotic. Further, this cycle could be repeated several times, enabling the same antibiotics to remain effective in the long run.
“Response from doctors who used Elores for treating patients has been overwhelmingly positive,” Mr. Saransh Chaudhary claims. He adds that this innovative ARB formulation was accoladed with a gold medal by DST-Lockheed Martin Foundation under DST-Lockheed Martin India Innovation Growth Program. In this competition, more than 1500 participants were judged based upon multiple parameters such as novelty, innovativeness, commercialization potential, technical strengths, etc.
The company claims that, to date, Elores has saved millions of patients who were infected with deadly pathogens.
While the health and overall well-being of many people across several communities are expected to be impacted in the short term, the greater impact of such drugs will be observed in the long run. In times to come many pathogens are expected to become resistant to antibiotics, Elores and other similar drugs will assist in containing the emergence of such ‘super-bugs’, thus mitigating some of the potential negative impact on the healthcare systems.
Elores has received a very strong positive response across multiple markets. Strong sales growth has enticed the company to expand its production facilities and hire more employees. Further, this innovation has aided the development of the ARB market in India i.e., the ARB market in India was in rudimentary stages, and by successfully launching a product, Venus Remedies has inspired other pharmaceutical companies to follow suit. In October 2019, Cipla (One of the largest pharmaceutical companies in India) acquired Elores from Venus Remedies to market and sell this product across India.
Considering Elores has been granted a patent in over 45 counties, the company estimates this drug to witness sustainable sales growth for the next few years.
Elores is more than just an affordable medicine that aids patients and helps prevent antibiotic resistance in the long run. Through ARBs, Venus Remedies seeks to uplift communities across the globe.
AMR has implications that go beyond reducing the life expectancy of patients, making current treatments less effective, and necessitating the development of newer and more expensive antibiotics. This problem has the potential to harm economic development, especially in the less developed regions of the world, thus increasing inequality and poverty. United Nations puts this figure of economic loss to be around 3.5% of world GDP by 2050.
Through the ARB approach the potential impact of the ARM problem can be curtailed to a great extent this includes saving many lives and containing economic hardships.
Mr. Saransh Chaudhary, CEO of Venus Medicine Research Centre (An R&D Unit of Venus Remedies Limited)
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Business Website: https://venusremedies.com/
Year Founded: 1989
Number of Employees: 501 to 1000
Founded in India in the year 1989, Venus Remedies Limited embarked on a journey to provide innovative healthcare solutions to unmet medical needs. Venus is a fully integrated company, known around the globe for its research & development initiatives and breakthroughs that are brought about by extensive research and synergistic efforts of an experienced team of scientists and professionals