New Delhi: Drug majors Cipla and MSD on Thursday announced an India specific strategic partnership under which the former will have a non-exclusive license to market, promote and distribute MSD's 'raltegravir' 400 mg tablet, an HIV drug, under a different brand name, in the country.
MSD is the trade name of US-based Merck & Co, Inc. It operates its business in India through three separate legal entities: MSD Pharmaceuticals, Organon (India) Pvt Ltd, and Fulford (India) Ltd.
"Access to treatment and patient centric approach are cornerstone to this partnership. With this model both firms expect to broaden reach of raltegravir in private and public markets in India," the two companies said in a joint statement.
Commenting on the development, MSD in India Managing Director K G Ananthakrishnan said the partnership is aligned with the company's commitment towards patients in India.
"It is a complementary partnership as MSD brings the research and scientific excellence for raltegravir and Cipla brings their marketing excellence, significant reach among key clinician categories to drive product access," he added.
Cipla Chief Medical Officer Jaideep Gogtay said the partnership reinforces the company's ongoing commitment to HIV/AIDS treatment, making life-saving drugs accessible.
"Raltegravir, a third line therapy treatment will be a value addition to Cipla's portfolio of HIV/AIDS treatment, especially for those patients who are resistant to the first and second line therapy treatments," he added.
Cipla MD and Global CEO Subhanu Saxena said by entering into the partnership with MSD, Cipla is demonstrating its commitment to working with partners globally who share the same pro-access philosophy of Cipla.
"We want to ensure that all patients, particularly in developing countries, get access to the most innovative, breakthrough medicines available," he added.
The total number of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) in India is estimated at around 20.9 lakh in 2011. It is estimated that about 1.48 lakh people died of AIDS related causes in 2011 in India.
Cipla's shares were trading at Rs 373.05 apiece, down 0.07 per cent from its previous close, during afternoon trade on the BSE....