Cipla's Advair copy gathers steam with rollouts in Germany, Sweden

Cipla CEO Subhanu Saxena

Glaxo, say hello to another Advair rival in Germany and Sweden. Monday, Indian generics maker Cipla rolled out its copy of GSK's respiratory behemoth in the two European countries, and the company's CEO says more are on the way.

Cipla's drug, a copy of Advair's aerosol version, is hitting Germany's market as Serroflo and Sweden's as Salmeterol/Fluticasone Cipla. It's already for sale in Croatia. And the company has approvals in 10 total countries total, with an approval pending in the U.K., Cipla Chairman Yusuf Hamied told Bloomberg.

"Over the next 12-18 months we will see a series of launches throughout Europe as we know that there is a common need for high quality, affordable, reliable and thus sustainable therapy-alternatives--and this is what Cipla stands for," Cipla CEO Subhanu Saxena said in a statement.

Sales of Advair, known as Seretide in Europe and elsewhere, are already on the decline in Europe, sliding 3% to to £348 million last quarter. But rapidly dropping U.S. sales, which sunk 19% last quarter, are the real problem for Glaxo ($GSK)--and Cipla's ready to take aim at that market, too.

As Hamied told Bloomberg, his goal is to build Cipla into a significant U.S. player by 2020, deriving 20% of sales from the country--compared with its current share of about 9%. And generic Advair figures heavily into those plans.

"Generic Advair--if Cipla gets it through--it will change the face of Cipla," Hamied told the news service.

Taking share in Advair generics won't necessarily be an easy task. Mylan ($MYL) President Rajiv Malik told analysts earlier this month that the Pennsylvania-based drugmaker aims to file for generic Advair by the third quarter of 2015, with an eye on a 2016 rollout.

And don't discount GSK itself, the company told Bloomberg. Advair recently scored a payer boost thanks to Glaxo's discounts, and data compiled by the news service show Advair will still be racking up sales of close to $6 billion in 2016.

"We are confident of maintaining our leadership position in this field well into the next decade," the company said.

- read Cipla's release
- get more from Bloomberg

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