Pfizer boosts generics unit with Strides deal

One small step for Pfizer, another leap farther into generics for Big Pharma. The drugmaker has agreed to source 40 generic treatments--including a bundle of cancer meds--from the Indian firm Strides Arcolab, for sale in the United States. The drugs will be marketed by Pfizer's relatively new Established Products unit, which sells some 600 off-patent products.

Pfizer's first Strides-sourced product is expected to hit the U.S. market later this year. "This Strides collaboration is new and exciting, and we are encouraged about the potential of this relationship," David Simmons, president and general manager of that unit, said in a statement. "In addition, this agreement brings the total number of products in-licensed by our Established Products unit to more than 200."

Obviously, it's not Pfizer's first generics partnership, nor is it the drugmaker's first venture with an Indian generics maker. Last year negotiated for the rights to more than 30 oral generics made by Aurobindo Pharma, for sale in the U.S. and Europe. The deal also included 12 injectable antibiotics.

Analysts deemed the Strides deal a good one for both parties. "This is win-win situation for both the companies," Surya Patra, an analyst at Systematix Shares & Stocks, told Bloomberg. "Looking at the product quality, Strides will make some good earnings out of it." Indeed, Stride shares had surged their highest in two years on news of the arrangement.

- get the Pfizer release
- see the story at the Wall Street Journal Health Blog
- read the Bloomberg piece