India-based pharma company Cipla has recently entered into a partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) India to co-market three new oral anti-diabetics drugs in India, mainly sodium glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitor Oboravo (empagliflozin), and related combination therapies – Oboravo Met (empagliflozin + metformin) and Tiptengio (empagliflozin + linagliptin). With this, along with recent agreements in the last few years, Cipla is better positioned to improve access for innovative drugs in India, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
According to GlobalData’s Pharma Intelligence Center, the number of diagnosed prevalent cases of type 2 diabetes (T2D) in India is around 72.6 million in 2020, and is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 4 per cent to reach around 91.7 million in 2028.
While there are many challenges associated with the generic-dominated Indian market, access to high-quality innovative treatments is equally important in T2D to achieve better outcomes and prevent T2D-related complications including cardiovascular and renal diseases. SGLT2 inhibitors are an example of innovative therapies that are marketed in India. They include Janssen’s Invokana (canagliflozin), AstraZeneca’s Forxiga (dapagliflozin), and Glenmark’s Remozen (remogliflozin) while combination drugs include AstraZeneca’s Xigduo XR (dapagliflozin + metformin), Qtern (dapagliflozin + saxagliptin), and Glenmark’s Remozen-M (remogliflozin + metformin).
Other brands of SGLT2 inhibitors marketed by Indian companies in partnership with innovator companies include Lupin’s Gibtulio (empagliflozin) developed by BI and Eli Lilly, Cipla’s Prominad (canagliflozin) developed by Janssen, Abbott India’s Gledepa (dapagliflozin), Gledepa Met (dapagliflozin + metformin), and Sun Pharma’s Oxra (dapagliflozin) developed by AstraZeneca.
Venkat Kartheek Vale, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, commented, “Cipla regularly interacts with various state governments across India for participation in awareness initiatives to demonstrate the attributes of new drugs and emerging technologies that will benefit Indian patients. Diabetes is one of the promising therapy areas in India for Cipla to increase its revenues. These efforts, coupled with the company’s strong brand building and patient engagement through campaigns will help provide broader access to innovative medicines in India.”
In recent years, Cipla also had agreements with Roche India, Mannkind USA, Stempeutics Research, Novartis and Luye Pharma to market or distribute innovative drugs for various disease indications in India and other markets. GlobalData’s Pharma Intelligence Center identified the following deals executed by Cipla from 2018 to 2020.
Vale concluded, “With changes in the global regulatory environment and growing competition, pharmaceutical companies are focusing more on innovation in product portfolio and strengthening their business through partnerships or in-licensing. Cipla’s partnerships with BI and other pharmaceutical companies to market and distribute innovative treatments for diseases with significant unmet need, a growing prevalence, and increased spending, highlights the company’s strategy to position itself strongly in therapy areas of promising growth thus maximizing its chances of introducing more innovative medicines in India.”