Indo-Japan bio partnerships on rise

The last five years have witnessed many collaborative deals between bioscience organizations of India and Japan. The adoption of generic friendly policies by the Japanese government has fuelled significant interest in business and bilateral relations


India and Japan's growing synergy!

Beaming with confidence at his company's march into the Japanese market, Dr Rashmi Barbhaiya CEO, Advinus Therapeutics was quite hopeful that the partnership with Takeda Pharmaceuticals will have a great future. "Takeda and Advinus teams will together advance globally in networked innovation for addressing key pharma R&D productivity and issues for better returns on R&D investments," he had added when this exclusive three-year discovery deal was signed in October 2012. While Takeda will receive worldwide commercial rights to the drug candidates emerging from this alliance, Advinus will receive $36 million worth guaranteed research funding, $9 million in milestones leading to candidate selection, and is also eligible to receive future clinical and regulatory milestone payments of up to $45 million per product, plus royalties on product sales worldwide.
Such a deal surely has made many others in the industry to realize that Japanese manufacturers can offer great opportunities.

In yet another example of the growing proximity between two bioscience industries, Dr Reddy's Laboratories (DRL) had formed a joint venture with Fujifilm in June 2012, to develop, manufacture and promote generic drugs in Japan. The venture has 51 percent stake owned by Fujifilm and 49 percent by Dr Reddy's, and intends to launch its first products in Japan in the next three to four years. Dr Reddy's will develop, manufacture and promote competitive and high quality generic drugs utilizing both Fujifilm's advanced quality control technologies and DRL's expertise in cost competitive production technologies for active pharmaceutical ingredients and formulations.

In fact, the mutual bioscience relationship between the two nations has come a long way since the establishment of the first ever Indo-Japanese joint venture firm, Sanzyme (earlier known as Uni-Sankyo) in 1969. Headquartered in Hyderabad, the company expanded its activities and evolved as the manufacturer of fermentation and biotechnology products in the country.

Driving on generics

The complex regulatory framework in Japan creates a high entry barrier and hence the likely route to gain presence is through partnerships with local generic companies or acquisitions of local companies. Using the same model, the Indian generic players such as Lupin, Ranbaxy and Cadila Healthcare have made inroads with the Japanese market.

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