Quintiles' Indian services biz lays hands on Eli Lilly drug

By Emilie Reymond

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Joint venture Pharmacology Asia-pacific

Quintiles' subsidiary Pharmalink has acquired the marketing rights
to Eli Lilly India's flagship antibiotic brand Distaclor (cefaclor)
in a bid to boost its core services business.

With this new acquisition, Pharmalink, which specialises in providing marketing services to pharma firms in the Asia-Pacific region, further diversifies its contract business with the addition of a new drug to its growing portfolio. Akshaya Nath, excecutive director of Pharmalink in India, said: "This fits in neatly into our strategy in India that of building and marketing our own suite of attractive brands." Pharmalink has 12 marketed drugs under its belt and is planning to acquire further brands, in particular in areas such as dermatology and oncology, a company spokesperson told Outsourcing-Pharma.com. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but according to media reports in India the market for the drug in the country is about Rs 23 crore (€4m). It is unusual for a service provider like Pharmalink to switch to commercialising drugs but the company spokesperson said this was purely a tactical move to "support investment in our service business in India." ​ He stressed that Pharmalink remains "fully committed"​ to its core services business in the Asia-Pacific region. Pharmalink started buying and marketing its own drugs at the beginning of last year when Quintiles, Asia Pacific pharmaceutical services group Interpharma, and Temasek Holdings, the investment arm of the Singapore government, officially formed a joint venture to market pharmaceuticals in the budding Asia-Pacific region. PharmaLink, a division of Interpharma, was transferred to the new joint venture to help with the marketing. Each partner made an equal investment in the joint venture, totalling $112m (€82m), and now owns one-third of the company. Each partner will also benefit from the joint venture by providing the outsourcing services for the drugs that it commercialises, which are targeted specifically at the Asia-Pacific market. This market is currently worth $21bn, has more than doubled over the last 10 years and is projected to double again over the next 10 years. Meanwhile, Lilly has been marketing Distaclor in India since 1993 but has decided to focus on other therapeutic areas such as diabetes, oncology and bone health and growth. "This divestiture is completely aligned with our global strategy of introducing new and innovative products from Lilly's strong research pipeline,"​ said Sandeep Gupta, chairman and managing director of Eli Lilly's Indian Operations.

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