Lupin to co-market MSD's pneumonia vaccine in India

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Mumbai, July 18: Lupin has formed a country-specific strategic partnership with global pharma major MSD, which will give the city-base drug maker a non-exclusive licence to market, promote and distribute the latter's 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) under a different brand name in India.

Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by bacteria and it results in variety of invasive and non-invasive pneumococcal diseases with pneumonia being the most common in adults.

Pneumococcal disease kills more patients worldwide than any other vaccine preventable diseases. Worldwide 1.6 million people die of pneumococcal disease every year which translates to 3 people dying every minute.

"PPV23 provides broader coverage and has proven efficacy for prevention of pneumococcal diseases which help address the need of prevention of pneumococcal disease in India," Lupin and MSD (known as Merck & Co in the US and Canada) said in a statement Thursday.

Shakti Chakraborty, group president, India & CIS countries, Lupin, said: "We believe that the partnership is an important step-forward as both companies share a common passion and commitment to make a meaningful difference to the lives of patients suffering from Pneumococcal diseases in India."

MSD operates its human health business in India through privately MSD Pharmaceuticals, Organon (India) and Fulford (India), all subsidiaries of US-based Merck.

"The partnership is a perfect amalgamation as MSD brings the research and scientific excellence for pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines and Lupin brings their marketing excellence, significant reach among key clinician categories to drive product access," said, K.G. Ananthakrishnan, MD, MSD in India.

The two companies didn't disclose the financial terms and conditions of the deal.

IANS

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