Hyderabad: Lupin Ltd, India’s third largest drugmaker, Thursday said it formed an alliance with Germany’s Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH to co-market the latter’s diabetic drug empagliflozin in India.
As per the agreement, Lupin will market and sell empagliflozin under a separate brand name Gibtulio which will be promoted by Lupin’s specialty field force. Boehringer Ingelheim will continue to sell empagliflozin under the brand name Jardiance through its existing sales force and network.
Empagliflozin is a novel sodium glucose co-transporter-2 or SGLT-2 inhibitor indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. They are available in 10 mg and 25 mg strength.
“The inclusion of Empagliflozin is a significant addition to the partnership,” Lupin said in a statement.
“SGLT-2 inhibitors are a novel class of drugs that were launched across the world in the last couple of years,” Lupin said.
Boehringer Ingelheim and Lupin had earlier signed a partnership for marketing another diabetic drug linagliptin in October 2015.
The Indian diabetes market is valued at Rs.9,003 crore as on July, growing at 19.5%, according to US-based healthcare information provider IMS Health.
The market has been driven largely by the entry of newer drugs like DPP-4 Inhibitors over the last 6 years and the SGLT-2 Inhibitors are expected to outgrow and outpace the market faster than before.
The SGLT-2 Inhibitors were first introduced in India in March 2015 and the total SGLT-2 Inhibitors market is valued at Rs.113 crore, and growing at 880.17%.
India is known as the diabetes capital of the world with 69 million diabetics, or 5% of the country’s population. An estimated 1.02 million deaths are caused due to high blood sugar in India. Type 2 diabetes is expected to increase to 87 million by 2030.
Lupin is the fourth largest company in the anti-diabetes segment and has 6.7% market share of the overall diabetes market.
Lupin diabetic portfolio comprises of oral anti-diabetes drugs and injectable drugs such as human insulin and insulin analogues.
Lupin’s anti-diabetic portfolio contributes 11% to its India formulations sales that stood at Rs.3,391 crore in the year ended March.
Indian pharmaceutical companies faced by increasing competition and pricing pressures in domestic branded generics market have been entering into in-licensing and co-marketing deals with multinational companies to bring new drugs into Indian market. For multinational drug makers, such deals allow maximising sales without investing much.
Shares of Lupin dropped 2.36% to close at Rs. 1,480.40 on BSE, the benchmark Sensex declined 1.56% to end at 27,643.11 points.
Currently, there are three patented molecules - three companies in SGLT 2 (class) market by Astra Zeneca Plc, Johnson & Johnson and Boehringer – Lupin in Indian market .
“We expect Empagliflozin to be as big a launch for us as was Ondero & Ondero Met or linagliptin - our partnership with Boehringer last year,” Lupin said.
Sales for Linagliptin have grown upwards of 25% over the last one quarter, the company added.