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GEN News Highlights : Dec 5, 2012

Lilly, Agila Team Up to Market Branded Generic Cancer Drugs

Lilly will in-license 10 branded generic injectable and oral cancer medicines from Agila Specialties, which will manufacture the drugs for Lilly to register and market across emerging markets, the companies said today.

Under the strategic partnership agreement, Lilly has the right to add additional branded generic oncology products to the portfolio in the future.

“This strategic partnership marks Lilly India’s entry into branded generics, reaffirming our commitment to reach more Indian patients. We believe this partnership will help us build a significantly larger and more meaningful presence in the Indian cancer segment,” Melt Van Der Spuy, managing director for Lilly India, said in a statement.

India is part of Lilly’s “emerging markets,” though China is the company’s “highest priority geography,” followed by what the company calls its “Five Focus” nations of South Korea, Turkey, Russia, Brazil, and Mexico. While India is not specifically named an emerging nation on the company’s website, Lilly adds: “There are significant opportunities in other markets in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia where selective investment will occur.”

The partnership with Agila comes six months after Lilly said it would develop a Lilly-branded generics platform in China by increasing its manufacturing capabilities through an expanded collaboration with Chinese-owned Novast Laboratories. Novast, a generic and specialty pharmaceutical company based in Nantong, agreed to expand the manufacturing capacity in Nantong over the next several years, with Lilly providing technical support. As part of that agreement, Lilly agreed to invest $20 million in Novast, expanding upon an initial equity investment in the company that Lilly made several years ago through its venture capital unit Lilly Asian Ventures.

Lilly said at the time that the collaboration “may also ultimately result in Novast providing local and regional manufacturing capabilities for Lilly's own pipeline of potential new medicines in development.”

Agila, the specialties division of Indian-owned Strides Arcolab, operates nine manufacturing sites including one of the largest sterile capacity facilities, and a facility with one of the world’s largest lyophilization capacities.