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PHARMA - RANBAXY-NIPPON CHEMIPHAR DRUG IN JAPAN

Voglibose tabs launched in Japan

 

BY OUR PHARMA CORRESPONDENT

13th August, 2005:Indian major Ranbaxy Laboratories and Nippon Chemiphar, has launched voglibose tablets in Japan. Introduced under the brand name Vogseal in 0.2 mg and 0.3 mg strengths, the product is used in the treatment of diabetes.

Vogseal will be made available at medical institutions across Japan through a network of wholesalers, an official release said.
The drug will be sold in Japan under the Ranbaxy / Nihon Pharmaceutical Industry label, but will be marketed through Nippon Chemiphar and Nihon Pharmaceutical Industry.

Ranbaxy is India’s leading pharmaceutical company, one of only a handful so far to achieve international prominence. Manufacturing is conducted mainly in India, but also in other countries, such as Ireland.

The past few years have seen a concerted effort to break into the US and European markets, with a wide degree of success. Ranbaxy received 14 final ANDA approvals in 2004, more than any other company in that year.

In 2004 revenues reached Rs54,512 million (US$1,200 million), an increase of 13.0% in local currency terms over 2003. This takes Ranbaxy over the US$1 billion mark for the first time. The company aims to achieve sales of US$2 billion by 2007 and US$5 billion by 2012.

Ranbaxy is at the forefront of attempts to bring cheaper generic HIV/AIDS medicines to developing countries. It is keen to get approval for use under the US PEPFAR programme as well as by the WHO. Concerns over bioequivalence data have delayed this, however, and Ranbaxy has had to re-obtain the necessary data.

2005 will see a major legal case in the USA, as Ranbaxy attempts to contest the validity of key patents protecting Lipitor, Pfizer’s US$10 billion cholesterol drug. Ranbaxy is also contesting Lipitor patents in other countries, and won a favourable patent decision in Austria in March 2005. It already sells the drug in India.

The company claims its long term aim is to move away from generics and into original drug research. It already has an R&D agreement in India with GlaxoSmithKline, for example. This is partly spurred by the proposed tightening of India’s patent laws beginning in 2005. For the time being, however, generics will be the mainstay of the company’s revenues. The company has stated that the new patent law will not affect its product portfolio.

Nippon Chemiphar is a medium-size pharmaceutical company in Japan. It was established in 1950, and listed in Tokyo Stock Exchange since 1971. Its exiting major products cover the areas of central nervous, digestive, cardiovascular, ulcer remedies and others.

BY OUR PHARMA CORRESPONDENT

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