16 June, 2005: Singapore state investment arm Temasek Holdings has signed a joint venture agreement with US-based biotechnology giant Quintiles Transnational Corporation and Hong Kong-based healthcare company Interpharma Asia Pacific to commercialise drugs in the Asia-Pacific (APC) market.
The joint venture, which starts with a fund of $112 million, would acquire new and existing products from research-based drug companies, according to a statement released by Temasek Holdings.
Temasek's Managing Director (Strategic Development) S Iswaran said the company had already invested in several biotech and pharmaceutical ventures around the world.
"This investment fits in well with our view of growth prospects for Asia and our overall investment strategy for the life sciences," he said.
The company also said that the value of the APAC pharmaceutical industry was expected to double to more than $42 billion over the next decade.
The companies would commercialise pharmaceutical products in the region and would help the drug firms focus their resources on research & development. The companies would also provide outsourcing for product registration and sales and marketing of their mature brand portfolios.
"Temasek has invested in several biotech and pharma ventures globally," Iswaran said.
Singapore has been encouraging investment in the biomedical and pharmaceutical sectors in recent years to diversify its economy amid competition from lower-cost economies like China and India.
The APAC pharmaceutical market, estimated to be around $21 billion, has more than doubled during the past 10 years and is projected to double again in the next decade, it said.
The companies intend to transfer PharmaLink, a specialist APAC pharmaceutical marketing services division of Interpharma, to the new venture and help negotiate the acquisition of these products and their subsequent marketing in Asia's healthcare market.
Zuellig Pharma, another unit of Interpharma, would offer distribution and logistics expertise. Quintiles would contribute regional commercialisation expertise and experience in pharmaceutical outsourcing partnerships.
A team led by PharmaLink Chief Executive Officer Brian Nichols would manage the joint venture, while the formation of the three-way joint venture is subject to the execution of definitive agreements, which are expected in a few months.