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Dr. Nagesh Palepu

Distinguished Alumnus
2013
Dr. Nagesh Palepu
M.Sc., Chemistry, 1972

Dr. Nagesh Palepu (known as P. Nageswara Rao to fellow IITians) received his M.Sc. in Chemistry from IIT Bombay in 1972. Later, he obtained his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics from the University of Iowa.

Dr. Palepu immigrated to the U.S. in 1972 and started his career at Pfizer. After working for five years as a bench chemist, he got selection to pursue his scientific studies at the University of Iowa where he earned his doctoral degree. Subsequently, Dr. Palepu joined Bristol Myers as a senior research scientist, where he was primarily focused on anticancer drug development. He was credited for the advancement of several industry defining cancer therapies Carboplatin, injectable Cephalosporin, Platinol AQ and Mutamycin. In 1986, Dr. Palepu accepted a senior management position with Adria Laboratories in Columbus, Ohio, and continued to lead the development and filings for next generation drugs with formation of Zinecard and Adriamycin RTU (ready-to-use). In 1991, he took up the directorship of SmithKline Beecham (now GSK) and was instrumental in the development of the company’s most acclaimed products, viz., Topotecan, Teveten, and Avandia. After serving that company for 25 long years, he joined Geneva Pharmaceuticals as Vice President of Research & Development where he strategically positioned the company (now Sandoz) into a major global generic product leader. Continuing this track record of success, Dr. Palepu later joined an oncology-focused drug delivery company, Sonus Pharmaceuticals, as the Chief Technology Officer and transformed the company into one of industry significance.

In 2003, Dr. Palepu founded TherDose Pharma, a pharmaceutical consultancy and research & development company based in Hyderabad, India. TherDose focused on reformulating the marketed products while establishing research and development relationships with large- and mid-scale biopharmaceutical companies. In 2006, Dr. Palepu co-founded SciDose, a vertically structured company that created access to western-based corporations and regulatory agencies. Under Dr. Palepu’s leadership and entrepreneurial drive, TherDose Pharma built a state-of-the-art oncology manufacturing plant in Hyderabad and is well positioned to provide high quality oncology products, not only in India but to Southeast Asia and other emerging markets.

Over the course of his distinguished career, Dr. Palepu has published over 25 journal articles and is the owner of over 50 US patents.