THE CBI has arrested Joint Drugs Controller S Eswara Reddy, Associate Vice President of Biocon Biologics L Praveen Kumar and three others in a case of bribery to waive Phase 3 clinical trial of ‘Insulin Aspart’ injection, a product developed by the company to manage Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, officials said on Tuesday.
Biocon Biologics, a subsidiary of Kiran Mazumdar Shaw-led Biocon, however, denied the allegations of bribery. Besides Reddy and Kumar, the CBI has also taken into custody Dinesh Dua, director at Synergy Network India Private Limited, who allegedly gave Reddy Rs 4 lakh bribe, Guljit Sethi, an alleged conduit of Biocon Biologics, as well as Assistant Drug Inspector Animesh Kumar in the case.
Reddy, posted at the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) in New Delhi, and Dua were held on Monday during a ‘trap operation’ while the former was receiving the bribe to favour Biocon Biologics to waive phase 3 clinical trial of the insulin injection.
They were arrested after necessary paperwork and would be produced before the special court soon, they said.
The CBI has booked all the five accused under IPC sections of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and corruption. A spokesperson for Biocon Biologics refuted the allegations and said they were cooperating with the investigating agency. “We deny the bribery allegations made in certain media stories. All our product approvals are legitimate and backed by science and clinical data. Our bAspart is approved in Europe and many other countries,” the spokesperson said. “We follow the due regulatory process for all our product approvals by DCGI. The entire application process in India is online and all meeting minutes are in the public domain. We are cooperating with the investigation agency,” the spokesperson said.