GSK expands Aspen deal; Pfizer talks with Cipla

Generics are hot commodities these days--and the following two stories illustrate this fact. First, GlaxoSmithKline has finalized its buyout of a stake in South Africa's Aspen Pharmacare Holdings. Aiming to diversify into selling copycats of its own meds, Glaxo decided to take an even larger stake of Aspen than it originally intended: 19 percent versus the announced 16 percent.

The asset-swap arrangement gives Aspen the rights to distribute Glaxo meds in South Africa, plus eight of GSK's drugs and a factory in Germany. In return, Glaxo gets 68.5 million shares to add to its roughly 13 million.

Over in India, generics maker Cipla is negotiating with several global drugmakers to supply generic products. Among those in the chase: Pfizer, which as you know is prepping for a big generics push into Japan (among other spots). "Yes, we are talking to some companies," joint managing director Amar Lulla told Reuters. "Nothing has been signed yet." Lulla denied, however, that Cipla would sell a stake in the company as part of a supply deal.

Other Indian generics makers have joined forces with multinational pharma. GlaxoSmithKline has a deal with Dr Reddy's Laboratories, while Ranbaxy Laboratories is now majority owned by Japan's Daiichi Sankyo.

- see the AP news on Glaxo
- get more from Dow Jones
- check out the Reuters piece