Cipla acquires balance 75% stake in biotech firm Mabpharm

Mumbai-based drugmaker Cipla Ltd announced that Meditab Specialities Private Limited (MSPL), a wholly owned subsidiary of the company, has acquired the remaining 75 per cent stake in biotech firm Mabpharm Private Limited (Mabpharm) for an undisclosed amount.

Mabpharm is engaged in development of monoclonal antibodies for treatment of cancer and auto-immune diseases. Cipla already held 25 per cent stake in Mabpharm and the transaction makes it a wholly owned subsidiary.

Cipla also received licence to manufacture generic HIV medicines, atazanavir (ATV) and dolutegravir (DTG) from the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) to speed the availability of generic HIV medicines to developing countries.

MPP announced seven new sub-licensing agreements for the manufacture of generic HIV medicines and has signed agreements with Cipla, Mylan and Micro Labs and extended collaborations with Aurobindo, Laurus Labs and Emcure.

“The HIV field needs new drugs all the time due to the development of resistance and treatment failure.  Dolutegravir belongs to the new class of drugs - integrase inhibitors. This class of drugs brings new options for patients, has advantages over the existing drugs in terms of high efficacy and also brings down the viral loads rapidly. Access to the medicine in developing countries will make a major difference to the lives of HIV/AIDS patients living there,” said Jaideep Gogtay, chief medical officer, Cipla.

Earlier this month Cipla said it would invest up to £100 million (around $171 million) in its UK-based subsidiary in the next few years.

Generic drugmaker Cipla has been aggressively growing its footprint internationally through acquisitions to increase its market share. Last month the company announced its plans to acquire 51 per cent stake in a UAE-based pharma company. Earlier the company acquired 60 per cent stake in a Sri Lankan company for $14 million.

Cipla started this inorganic expansion phase last year when it acquired its distribution partner in South Africa—Cipla Medpro South Africa Ltd—for $512 million. This was the company’s first acquisition in three years. In 2010, it acquired stake in Meditab Specialities Pvt Ltd, a stake in Mabpharm and a drug formulation facility in Sikkim.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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