GSK, Merck promise more deal-making

Growth in Asia, growth via acquistion, growth via acquisition in Asia: Drugmakers promised investors all these strategies over the weekend. Here's who plans to use which approach:

  • Eli Lilly said it expects its Japanese revenues to grow in the "mid teens" percentage-wise in 2010, the chief of its Japanese unit said today. That's on top of 19 percent growth in 2009, Bloomberg reports, which put Lilly's Japanese sales at 109 billion yen for the year, or $1.2 billion. Story

  • Traveling in India, GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty pledged to continue expansion in that country via acquistions and organic growth. Speaking on the sidelines of a company event in Nashik, Witty told reporters that India is a crucial market for the company. "[Acquisition] opportunities will be evaluated based on a variety of factors, including the strategic nature of the fit," he said (as quoted by the Wall Street Journal). More

  • Fresh off his deal to buy the biotech-equipment company Millipore, Merck KGaA CEO Karl-Ludwig Kley tells a German newspaper that more acquisitions are on the way. "We have indeed a few ideas," he says. "Acquisitions are part of our strategy ... And so it should continue." Article

Obviously, these companies aren't unique; almost everybody in pharma is either looking to buy or be bought these days, and the list of companies targeting Japan for growth gets longer by the day.