Sun Pharma ties up with AstraZeneca to sell novel oncology drugs in China

Representative Image
As Sun Pharmaceuticals enhances its focus on the Chinese market, the company today said that it has entered into a licensing agreement with AstraZeneca UK Ltd to introduce certain novel ready-to-use infusion oncology products in China.

According to the agreement, Sun Pharma will be responsible for developing, making regulatory filings and manufacturing the products, while AstraZeneca will exclusively promote and distribute these products in China. The initial tenure of the agreement is 10 years from the first commercial sale of the said products in China.

The company did not disclose the financial terms of the agreement.

Kal Sundaram, Director of Corporate Development, Sun Pharma said, “AstraZeneca’s leadership position will help us to make our products available to patients and doctors in China. We see a great potential to introduce our specialty and generics products in the growing China market and this licensing agreement is another positive step in that direction.”

AstraZeneca has a strong presence in the Chinese market and the British drugmaker is bullish on the market given the recent push by policymakers to get Chinese patients quicker access to new medicines. For years, drugmakers found it difficult to enter the Chinese market owing to bureaucratic delays and stringent regulatory landscape.

According to Bloomberg, China's contribution to AstraZeneca's global revenues has grown from 5.4 per cent in 2012 to 18 per cent in 2018. Multinational players like Roche, Pfizer too are working on boosting their China presence.

Sun Pharma too has been working actively on gaining a foothold in the world's second-largest single-country drug market. It forged several tie-ups during the year to strengthen its product portfolio for the Chinese market.

Earlier this week Sun Pharma Advanced Research Company (SPARC) entered into a licensing agreement with a subsidiary of China Medical System Holdings (CMS) to develop and commercialise multiple products in China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. The licensing deal with CMS covers innovative products such as Xelpros and Elepsia, SPARC said in a statement.

In August Sun Pharma had announced a partnership with CMS to develop and commercialise generic drugs in mainland China. The tie-up helped the company make a foray into the generic drug market in China. The collaboration with CMS covers eight generic products with a total addressable market size for all these eight products is about $1 billion (according to recent IQVIA data) in mainland China.

“This collaboration gives us entry into the Chinese generic pharmaceutical market. We see lot of potential in China for both, our generics and specialty portfolio. With more than 65 per cent generics penetration, China represents a significant opportunity for generic pharmaceutical companies,” said Dilip Shanghvi, managing director, Sun Pharma had said then.

Earlier in June, Sun Pharma had announced collaboration with CMS on two specialty products - plaque psoriasis drug Tildrakizumab and Cyclosporine eye drops for the Greater China market.

The shares of Sun Pharma were up 1.4 per cent to Rs 436.05 apiece on the BSE in morning trade.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel