Cipla eyes alliances to grow in emerging markets

Takeda may well be eyeing a buyout to expand in India, but Cipla, one of its supposed targets, has its own emerging markets plans. The Indian company, like virtually every ambitious drugmaker these days, aims to expand in developing countries, which are expected to see the lion's share of pharma sales growth over the next several years. And like its rivals, Cipla thinks marketing alliances and partnerships are the way to go.

At the company's annual meeting, Cipla Chairman Y.K. Hamied said it's likely the company will create "strategic alliances and various types of partnerships" to broaden its reach into emerging markets, Dow Jones reports. "There are areas where we are not very strong, but we have strong products, so we want somebody who's stronger in those areas to market our products there and vice versa," he said.

One longstanding partnership--with Cipla Medpro in South Africa--could yield expansion into Africa. The South African company is working on a partnership in Nigeria, and it's planning to launch products in Tanzania and Kenya next year. It's also eyeing Ghana for expansion. And it's launching a new oncology unit as well. India's Cipla supplies drugs to the South African company, and it recently took a 25% stake in Cipla Medco's manufacturing unit.

But Cipla's Indian competitors have tied up with Big Pharma, something that it has been negotiating to do for some time, Dow Jones notes. The Indian company has been in talks with generics giant Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ($TEVA), as well as Pfizer ($PFE) and Boehringer Ingelheim. And then there's GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), which has a partnership with Dr. Reddy's.

One thing Cipla's chairman ruled out was an outright sale. "[W]e want Cipla's name to grow over and over forever," Hamied said. 

- see the Business Day story
- get more from Dow Jones
- see the PharmaTimes piece

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