Astra boosts emerging markets with Aurobindo deal

Astra boosts emerging markets with Aurobindo deal

Mumbai/London: AstraZeneca stepped up its drive into emerging markets on Monday by striking another licensing and supply deal with an Indian generic drugmaker, this time Aurobindo Pharma.

The move highlights the growing importance of emerging markets to international drugmakers, many of which have set up similar deals with Indian suppliers in the past couple of years. Aurobindo already has a large deal with Pfizer.

Emerging markets are a priority area for Western drug companies, as sales in home markets stall, and cheap off-patent medicines that can be sold in high volumes under a multinational brand name are an attractive market opportunity.

The Indian company said it would supply AstraZeneca with anti-infective, cardiovascular and central nervous system (CNS) generic drugs that the London-based company would sell under the AstraZeneca brand. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“These agreements will enable us to extend the range of branded medicines we are able to offer patients in emerging markets, where we see continued opportunities to grow our business," Kaushik Banerjee, head of branded generics operations at AstraZeneca, said in a statement.

Following the news, shares in Aurobindo rose 2.56% to Rs1,070 by 0713 GMT. The Bombay index was up 1.5%.

AstraZeneca struck a similar branded generics supply deal with India’s Torrent Pharmaceuticals in March and the Anglo-Swedish company said at the time other deals could follow.

AstraZeneca expects emerging markets to account for 25% of group sales by 2014, up from 13%, or $4.35 billion, in 2009.