Sun, Merck to form JV to sell generic drugs in emerging mkts

PTI New Delhi | Updated on April 11, 2011

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and US-based Merck & Co Inc today said they have entered into a joint venture agreement to develop, produce and market generic drugs in emerging markets.

The agreement is between Merck’s Indian arm MSD Pharma and Sun Pharma’s subsidiary in the country, the two companies said in a joint statement.

While the companies did not disclose the details and financials involved, they said the JV will be managed by a joint board and leadership team, consisting of members of senior management from both companies.

The yet-to-be-named JV will focus on commercialisation of new combinations and formulations of incrementally innovative, branded generics in emerging markets.

“This joint venture reinforces our strategy of partnering to launch products using our highly innovative delivery technologies around the world,” Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mr Dilip S Shanghvi said.

He added: “Merck has an unrivaled reputation as a world leading, innovative, research-driven pharmaceutical company.”

Commenting on the partnership, Merck/MSD President Emerging Markets Mr Kevin Ali said: “By combining forces with Sun Pharma, we are complementing our innovative product portfolio with a solid foundation for addressing the diverse needs of patients, physicians and governments across the Emerging Markets.”

The companies said that they will focus on ‘innovative branded generics,’ that bring together combinations of medicines using platform delivery technologies designed to enhance convenience for patients in emerging markets.

Citing experts, the statement said it is estimated that during the coming decade, the emerging markets are expected to drive 90 per cent of the world’s pharmaceutical growth, with 75 per cent of that growth coming from branded generics.

In these markets, the growing burden of chronic disease, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hepatitis, along with an increasing population and economic prosperity, is leading to an increased demand for branded generics.

The JV between Sun Pharma and Merck India is second such large scale sales and marketing tie up this year after German drug firm Bayer AG announced a joint marketing venture with Ahmedabad-based Cadila Healthcare in January.

On September 22, 2010 after nearly four years of legal wrangling, Sun Pharma had acquired a controlling stake in Israeli firm, Taro Pharmaceutical Industries.

Shares of Sun Pharma today closed at Rs 450.25 on Bombay Stock Exchange, up 2 per cent from its previous close.

Published on April 11, 2011

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