Merck & Co. formed a joint venture with the Mumbai-based specialty pharmaceutical company Sun Pharmaceutical Industries to develop, manufacture, and commercialize new combinations and formulations of branded generic drugs in emerging markets. The joint venture will be structured through subsidiaries of Merck and Sun Pharmaceutical. A joint board and leadership team, consisting of members of senior management from both companies, will manage the collaboration.
"Merck’s emerging-markets strategy is driven by our overarching focus on applying innovation across our business from introducing novel compounds to broadening our focus on innovative branded generics," said Kevin Ali, president of Merck’s emerging-markets businesses, in an Apr. 11, 2011, press release.
Sun Pharmaceutical manufactures and markets pharmaceutical formulations as branded generic drugs and “incrementally innovative generics” in India, the US, and several emerging markets, said Merck in the release. The company has capabilities in process chemistry, active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing, and dosage formulations. Sun also has an independent research and development company, Sun Pharma Advanced Research, which focuses on the discovery and development of new molecules and drug-delivery systems. Its projects include oral drug-delivery platforms (e.g., gastroretentive devices and wrap-matrix technology), injectables (nanoparticulate formulations and biodegradable depots), dry-powder inhalers, and ophthalmic technologies (e.g., swollen micelles and gel-free reservoirs). Some products based on these technologies are marketed in India.