In terms of how the collaboration agreement will function, Nichi-Iko Pharmaceuticals will supply its generics medicines to Eisai’s subsidiary in China, which will then distribute the products.
The agreement will rely on Nichi-Iko obtaining approval from Chinese authorities for its products to be imported and sold in the country.
The long-term plan for the partnership is to begin selling products on the Chinese market from 2024, at which point the two companies foresee being able to launch one to two products every year. The partners will choose the first two products for sale in the country this year.
The agreement is not the first made between the two companies, after Nichi-Iko acquired Eisai’s generics subsidiary, Elmed, as part of broader strategic partnership that sees the companies co-promote five products.
Potential of Chinese market
Both companies called attention to the scale and development of the generic market in China as the reason for putting together the alliance, citing that the overall pharma market is the second largest in world, after the US, and that generic drugs make up 70% of that market, in terms of value.
Eisai has already established its footprint in the country since 2014, where it possesses a manufacturing presence that it bolstered last year with the construction of an oral solid dose form manufacturing facility, located in Suzhou.