Teva to bulk up in Asia with generics buyouts

Now, it's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ($TEVA) looking eastward for deals. The Israeli-based drugmaker figures the Asian generics market will be hopping over the next several years, with burgeoning uptake of copycat drugs. "A lot of the future growth of the generic industries is going to happen in Asia," CFO Eyal Desheh told Bloomberg at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. "The population is very large."

During a presentation at the conference, Desheh reeled off a list of countries in the region where Teva would like to snap up a company--or two or four, PharmaTimes reports. China and India were on the list--as they are on every growth-minded drugmaker's list--as were South Korea, the Philippines and Vietnam.

With Big Pharma pushing aggressively into Asian markets, focusing particularly on branded generics, Teva will have plenty of rivals in the region. But Desheh appears to recognize the challenge. "We'll have to go one by one, a lot of footwork, country by country," he said, as quoted by PharmaTimes. "None of these will be huge acquisitions, and this push may take a few years."

Meanwhile, the company is planning to build up its branded business as well. Newly appointed CEO Jeremy Levin, who joins the company from Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY), is expected to augment that business with a series of acquisitions when he takes over in May.

- read the PharmaTimes piece
- get more from Bloomberg