Express Pharma

Eris Lifesciences announces Joint Venture with MJ Biopharm to offer insulin in India

The 70:30 Joint Venture will primarily engage in marketing and distribution of human and analogue insulin including Aspart, Glargine and Lispro and GLP-1 agonists and potentially other biopharma products in India

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Eris Lifesciences recently announced its entry into India’s Rs 35 to 40 billion insulin and GLP1 agonists market through Eris MJ Biopharm, a special purpose Joint Venture between Eris and Mumbai-based MJ Biopharm.

In a statement, Eris Lifesciences said that the company will now extend its product offering to insulins and GLP1 agonists. These categories comprise 61 per cent of the anti-diabetes market in the USA, whereas their penetration is just 21 per cent in India. This low penetration is largely on account of the limited number of suppliers in the Indian market. We expect significant growth in these segments, considering that diabetes is a progressive disease and insulin/GLP 1 therapy is the proven gold-standard in diabetes management in the developed markets.

The statement also mentioned that the 70:30 Joint Venture (with Eris holding a 70 per cent stake) will primarily engage in marketing and distribution of human and analogue insulin including Aspart, Glargine and Lispro and GLP-1 agonists (e.g., Liraglutide) and potentially other biopharma products in India. MJ will be responsible for the development, manufacturing and supply of these products to the JV.

Mumbai-based MJ Biopharm has demonstrated capabilities in the development and commercialisation of recombinant biosimilar formulations. MJ employs a biopharma R&D team of 35 personnel (including three PhDs) and operates two WHO-GMP/PICS-compliant manufacturing facilities in India for biologics bulk and formulations based on the microbial fermentation platform.

Amit Bakshi, Chairman and Managing Director, Eris Lifesciences, said, “Diabetes is a progressive disease and India’s patient pool is set to double in the next 20+ years. We are ranked #5 in oral diabetes (OAD) segment and this places a huge responsibility on us as a serious stakeholder in managing the diabetes burden of our country. With the formation of this JV with MJ, we are taking our commitment a step further. Over the next 10-15 years, growth in diabetes care will be driven by DPP4-SGLT2 combinations, insulin analogues and GLP1 agonists, given the superior clinical evidence on their ability to provide better glycemic control, cardio-renal protection and weight management. Given our strong market position in OAD and blockbuster brands like Zomelis and Gluxit, we are well-positioned to ride the growth wave in DPP4-SGLT2 combinations. With the formation of this JV, we will add human insulin, analogues and GLP-1 agonists to our portfolio, which, along with our Circa range of glucometers, CGM devices and HbA1C monitors, makes us a full-service player in diabetes care.”

Adding to it, Amol Shah, Managing Director, MJ Biopharm, said, “With proven capabilities in biopharmaceutical development and manufacturing as well as world-class facilities, MJ Biopharm has built strong credibility in the insulin space, with 14+ million vials and 4+ million cartridges of recombinant human insulin manufactured and supplied to 25+ countries since 2015. I am excited about this collaboration with Eris and we look forward to expand the breadth and depth of the insulin market in India.”

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