Sun Pharma has carved a name for itself as India’s largest drug maker, with 11,200 employees at manufacturing centers around the world, $1.2 billion in annual sales, and a stock that surged 72% last year. In America, they manufacture and market more than 200 generic drugs for heart medications, diabetes drugs, and cancer treatments. They provide Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients such as warfarin, carbamazepine, etodolac, clorazepate, sex hormones, peptides, steroids, and controlled substances. Now they have their sights set on a much smaller, but nevertheless irritating, medical issue: RECURRENT TOENAIL FUNGUS.
NovaBiotics Partners with Sun Pharma’s Taro Pharmaceuticals
Taro Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Sun Pharma, has signed an exclusive agreement with Scotland-based biotech firm NovaBiotics to license and co-develop Novexatin, a drug that will be used to treat fungal nail infections. According to Deborah O’Neil, CEO of NovaBiotics, Novexatin “has the potential to positively affect the onychomycosis space with the key advantage of delivering results within a short treatment period of 28 days.”
The time factor is especially interesting, since there is nothing that can cure toenail fungus that quickly on the existing market. Even with laser treatment for fungal nails, one still has to wait until the fungus nail grows out to see real noticeable improvement.
Analysts at Edelweiss expect the drug to compete with Penlac topical solution and the widely-used Oral Terbinafine (generic Lamisil). The safety and efficacy profile is expected to be much better than these two other remedies for toenail fungal infection, they say. Sun Pharma aims to build a specialty dermatology franchise, so the development of a foot fungus solution is viewed as an important stepping stone to that overall goal.
How Far Along Is Development For The Toenail Fungus Drug?
So far, Phase II-A studies have successfully wrapped up and the companies are focusing on the Phase II-B studies in the U.S. and U.K. During this phase of clinical research, the product is tested on 100 – 300 people with toenail fungus to determine efficacy and safety. Next, the drug will move to a larger trial of 1,000 – 2,000 people. From there, long-term effects will be analyzed and research will be summarized for all existing data. Unfortunately, it could take up to 15 years for all the stages of clinical research to wrap up. So what can one do in the meantime?
Unfortunately, You Can’t Eliminate Toenail Fungus Quickly
Currently, the best you can do is to weigh your options. Generally speaking, topical treatments and home remedies don’t prove very effective. Onychomycosis laser treatment provides some of the fastest and most noticeable results, but it’s expensive and not covered by insurance. The oral drug Lamisil is a commonly prescribed treatment, but it’s not recommended for patients with liver trouble, and requires regular liver monitoring.
You’ll need to be patient during any type of treatment you choose and wait for the fungus nail to grow out all the way (which could take up to a year!). You’ll also need to limit the chance of getting re-infected in the meantime by sterilizing the fungus in your footwear with the SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer. We understand how truly frustrating it is to suffer from toenail fungus and hope that this trial moves along swiftly to bring you a quicker solution!