Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd plans to sell stake in its research unit in 2009.

Raghavendra Rao, Managing Director Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd said "We are trying to identify more leads and plan to take them to clinical trials," and expected at least one lead molecule to move into clinical trials by next year. "Licensing will have to happen even after dilution of stake as we will not have the deep pockets necessary to carry the molecule forward," he said.

The company does not have a specific time-frame. We will look at it a year from now adding that scientific value creation had to precede financial leveraging of the company. Dilution of stake could mean either listing or getting in a strategic investor. Orchid Research Laboratories Ltd, the research unit, is developing drugs in four therapeutic areas of diabetes, pain management, oncology and infectious diseases. Orchid plans to license out the molecule when the drug moves into mid-stage trial.