UPDATE 1-India’s Sun Pharma, US Merck in generics joint venture

* Financial details not disclosed

* Joint venture to develop, sell branded generics in
emerging markets

* Sun Pharma shares close 2 pct higher

(Adds details)

MUMBAI, April 11 (Reuters) – U.S. drugmaker Merck & Co
has formed a joint venture with India’s Sun
Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd to develop and
manufacture branded generic drugs for emerging markets, the two
companies said on Monday.

The companies did not disclose financial details of the
deal.

“It will leverage Merck’s market presence (and) regulatory
competence across emerging markets,” Sun’s chairman and managing
director, Dilip Shanghvi, said at a media briefing. “This will
help us optimize the potential for JV products.”

Faced with stalling sales in mature Western markets, rising
competition and loss of patent protection on several of their
drugs, Western drugmakers are increasingly looking at emerging
markets for growth.

“The joint venture will help to further strengthen our
position for leadership in some of the world’s fastest growing
geographies,” said Kevin Ali, president of emerging markets at
Merck.

Last year, Anglo-Swedish drug maker AstraZeneca
struck its first branded generics supply deal with India’s
Torrent Pharmaceuticals , a year after rival British
drug maker GlaxoSmithKline tied a similar branded
generics deal with India’s Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd
.

Cheap off-patent medicines sold in high volumes in emerging
markets under a multinational brand name are a growing target
for major drugmakers.

In January, German drugmaker Bayer (BAYGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) signed an
agreement with India’s Cadila Healthcare to set up a
joint venture to market products locally. [ID:nSGE70R051]

Shares in Sun Pharmaceutical gained 2 percent at close in a
weak Mumbai market.

(Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee; Writing by Bharghavi Nagaraju;
Editing by Aradhana Aravindan)

UPDATE 1-India’s Sun Pharma, US Merck in generics joint venture