Lilly in partnership talks with Turkey's MN Pharma

Emerging markets continue to beckon Big Pharma. Eli Lilly ($LLY) is in partnership talks with Turkey's Mustafa Nevzat Ilac--MN Pharmaceuticals--a generics maker that also turns out active pharmaceutical ingredients. Lilly is considering buying a minority stake in the company, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Lilly's equity eyes aren't the only ones watching Turkey. The country is one of the fastest growing drug markets on the globe. Drugmakers in established markets have been buying and investing in the area not only to gain access to the Turkish market, but to use the country as a base for expansion in the Middle East and Asia. One Turkish company, Bilim Pharmaceuticals, has been in talks to sell a stake to private equity investors. Its general manager said today that it's in partnership talks with international drugmakers.

Lilly would gain local networks and manufacturing in a deal with MN Pharmaceuticals. MN says it has four manufacturing plants, and its API and finished dosage production is FDA-approved. Plus, MN has on-the-ground experience with Turkish regulators. The company exports to a variety of countries, including regional markets such as Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and other Eastern European countries. Its product portfolio runs the gamut from IV cancer meds such as docetaxel to the oral HIV med lamivudine.

- read the WSJ piece
- get more from Reuters
- see the story at Today's Zaman