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Next step towards generics, Pfizer teams with Strides

By Gareth Macdonald , 07-Jan-2010

Pfizer will soon sell more generic pharmaceuticals in the US after its agreement with Indian non-branded drugmaker Strides Arcolab.

Under the deal, Pfizer’s existing products unit will sell as many as 40 additional off-patent sterile injectables and oral solid dose drugs supplied to it by Strides and its Onco Laboratories joint-venture Aspen Pharmacare.

The collaboration, the third major agreement Pfizer has signed with an Indian generics firm after its deals with Aurobindo Pharma and Claris Lifesciences last year , fits with the general trend of Big Pharma investment in the non-branded drug sector.

For example, in 2009 Sanofi Aventis acquired Laboratorios Kendrick and Medley, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) bought shares in Aspen Pharmacare and Novartis purchased Ebewe Pharma’s non-branded injectables unit.

Collaboration with a point: injectables

However, Pfizer’s tie-up with Strides, financial terms of which have not been disclosed, is more of a targeted move than some recent partnerships, according to existing products unit president David Simmons.

He told Reuters that a key motivation for the Strides deal is Pfizer’s desire to expand in the US generic injectable drug market, which he valued at around $11bn (€6.2bn) a year.

Simmons explained that Pfizer looked at many companies before selecting Strides as a partner and went on to describe the Bangalore-based firm as a “powerhouse in the sterile injectables area."

Arun Kumar, Strides’ managing director, was similarly enthusiastic about the new agreement, explaining that Pfizer's infrastructure will help his firm reach a larger number of customers than had been possible before.

We have established a reputation for efficient formulation development and technologies, manufacturing and operational flexibility and we are looking to brining these strengths to bear in our collaboration with Pfizer.”

More Big Pharma deals for Strides

Kumar also suggested that the partnership with Pfizer may be just the start of the Indian firm’s Big Pharma generics collaborations.

He told Dow Jones Newswire that: "We believe that there will be many more partnerships going forward, with Pfizer, with GlaxoSmithKline and many other companies that are looking to expand their portfolio of products."

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