India’s Lupin seeks biosimilar & lung drug partners

March 4, 2014 1:02 PM

Lupin Ltd is seeking new partnership agreements as it moves into the promising fields of inhaled lung drugs and copies of biotechnology drugs, its managing director said.

The United States and Japan were the most interesting regions for so-called “biosimilar” developments by Lupin and the company is actively seeking partners with the right drug development expertise, Nilesh Gupta told Reuters in an interview.

Making copies of biotech medicines is emerging as a hot new business area for Indian pharmaceutical companies, which are seeking to move up the value curve by producing more complex and higher-margin generic products.Rival Dr.Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd, for example, already has a deal in place to develop biosimilars with Germany’s Merck KGaA, while Biocon Ltd has a similar tie-up with US-based Mylan Inc.

Lupin, the country’s No. 4 drugmaker by revenue, is entering the fray with a eye on the prize of selling cheaper copies of injectable biotech drugs for diseases such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis in developed markets.”We’ve been out there talking to companies for partnering. I think we probably see it as a product-by-product partnership rather than a broad partnership,” said Gupta, son of company founder Desh Bandhu Gupta.

Lupin has in recent years developed from a maker of simple “me-too” generic pills into a company that also produces higher-margin branded products and more complex generics. It has already created and developed a basket of 10 biosimilars, five of which are in advanced stages of development.

Source: Economic Times India

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