GLAXOSMITHKLINE Pharmaceuticals Ltd, the Indian arm of the UK drug major, is looking for a partner to market products for chronic, lifestyle-related diseases. The company is exploring brand in-licensing opportunities to improve its therapeutic coverage in high-growth segments such as cardiovascular, oncology, diabetes or ailments of the central nervous system (CNS).
“We have a mandate to look for partners and we are in discussion with a couple of companies,” said managing director Hasit B. Joshipura in a recent interview with ET.
This represents a significant shift for the Indian pharma company. This is because Glaxo-SmithKline’s product portfolio has so far been mostly focused on traditional therapeutic segments such as anti-infective or gastro-intestinal drugs. It derives a large share of its revenues from old brands such as antibiotic medicine Augmentin. “Our products portfolio should become more representative of the domestic market,” said Mr Joshipura. Today, chronic disease products contribute to about 5% of total revenues, according to the pharma company.
India remains a small market for global pharma companies and marketing drugs to doctors requires a large field force. As a result, rather than marketing their products themselves, many foreign companies are licensing them out to domestic companies to market in India. In return, the domestic company may pay a royalty on sales, or supply the finished product directly from the innovator.
“We will also introduce products from our parent company’s portfolio to enhance our presence in the chronic segment,” said Mr Joshipura.