Lupin in strategic alliance with Merck Serono for emerging markets

Mumbai-based pharmaceutical major Lupin Ltd has entered into a long-term strategic partnership with Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Merck, to sell products in emerging markets, the company said on Tuesday.

Under the partnership, Lupin will develop products, provide product dossiers and supply finished products to Merck Serono. Merck will be the marketing authorisation holder for the products and will leverage its commercial and medical teams in emerging markets to bring new medicines in its portfolio to customers.

This partnership covers major markets such as Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia and Philippines alongside several countries in Africa and Central Eastern Europe as well as other countries in emerging markets, focusing on cardiovascular and diabetes diseases.

The agreement builds on an established working relationship between the two companies, and could add up to 20 new products to the current portfolio. However, the first launches are expected in 2016.

“This strategic partnership builds on the existing close collaboration between our two companies. We are delighted to enter into this alliance, which is an extension of our existing partnership into a much larger, multi-regional one,” said Vinod Dhawan, group president, Asia Pacific, Africa, Middle East, & Latin America (AAMLA), Lupin.

Lupin did not disclose the financial terms of the partnership but said it will receive upfront and milestone-based licensing fee.

The company's scrip rose after the announcement but ended the day at Rs 1,362.6 a share, down 3.7 per cent on the BSE in a weak Mumbai market on Tuesday.

For Merck Serono, this partnership will expand the overall portfolio in core therapeutic areas of its general medicine & endocrinology franchise in selected countries in Latin America, Asia, Central Eastern Europe and Africa.

“The agreement with Lupin is an exciting new approach for Merck Serono to address local health needs in fast-growing regions with constantly increasing demand for high quality medicines from trusted companies like Merck Serono and Lupin,” said Elcin Ergun, head of global commercial, Merck Serono.

Merck Serono is the biopharmaceutical division of Merck. It offers leading brands in 150 countries to help patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, infertility, endocrine and metabolic disorders as well as cardiovascular diseases. In the US and Canada, EMD Serono operates as a separately incorporated subsidiary of Merck Serono.

The company discovers, develops, manufactures and markets prescription medicines of both chemical and biological origin in specialist indications.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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