India pharma giants and global big pharma join forces for NMEs commercialisation in India: GlobalData

The focus is on introducing new molecular entities (NMEs) into India, with both parties contributing to accelerate commercialisation and address evolving healthcare needs

The pharma landscape has undergone a significant shift towards collaboration and partnership between global big pharma and Indian pharma firms in recent years to drive innovation and expand market reach. This strategic alliance brings together the strengths and resources of both parties to accelerate commercialisation. The focus is on introducing new molecular entities (NMEs) into India, with both parties contributing to accelerate commercialisation and address evolving healthcare needs, finds GlobalData.

According to GlobalData’s Pharmaceutical Intelligence Center, between January 2019 and February 2024, 32 deals (Strategic alliances – excluding deals for co-development) for NMEs took place in India. Interestingly, six of those deals are involved in co-marketing of NMEs in India.

Notable partnerships for co-marketing happened between Glenmark Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer Inc for abrocitinib in January 2024; Torrent Pharmaceuticals and Boehringer Ingelheim for Empagliflozin and its fixed dose combinations in December 2022; Cipla, and Eli Lilly and Co for dulaglutide and humalog in October 2021; Cipla, and F. Hoffmann La Roche for bevacizumab, trastuzumab and rituximab in June 2020.

Jithendra Kancharla, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, comments, “The collaboration between Indian pharma giants and global big pharma companies complements the strengths of both parties. Indian companies bring their expanded sales force presence and their deep understanding of the local market dynamics. On the other hand, global pharmaceutical giants contribute their extensive experience in marketing innovative therapies and in-hand promotional material.”

Most of the deals that happened for NMEs revolved around infectious diseases for battling COVID-19 during the pandemic. Apart from these oncology, cardiovascular and metabolic disorders are the key areas of interest for the companies. India, known for its huge population, is an emerging market, driven by factors such as rising healthcare expenditure, an increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, and a growing demand for innovative therapies.

Kancharla adds, “Partnering with global pharma giants offers Indian pharma companies the opportunity to strengthen their product portfolios with high-value NMEs. Additionally, collaborating with global players will enhance their credibility and reputation.”

From the perspective of global big pharma companies, these partnerships provide an opportunity to quickly tap into the Indian market, which is poised for significant growth in the coming years.

Kancharla concludes, “Working together to launch NMEs is a win-win situation for both parties. Indian companies get access to innovative therapies with a high degree of differentiation and with a high profit margin compared to generic drugs, whereas big pharma giants get access to the expanded commercial presence of Indian companies. As the trend continues to evolve, strategic partnerships will remain essential for answering the complexities in the Indian pharma landscape and delivering innovative healthcare solutions to patients in India.”

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