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AstraZeneca to sell diabetes drug

AstraZeneca Pharma India has entered the Indian anti-diabetes drug market by joining hands with Bristol-Myers Squibb India for developing and commercialising two compounds for the treatment of type-2 diabetes.

business Updated: Apr 04, 2010 21:25 IST
HT Correspondent

AstraZeneca Pharma India has entered the Indian anti-diabetes drug market by joining hands with Bristol-Myers Squibb India for developing and commercialising two compounds for the treatment of type-2 diabetes.

Bristol-Myers Squibb discovered both compounds and the companies already have a global alliance for the product.

With 5.1 crore people in India suffering from diabetes, the size of the anti-diabetes market in the country is estimated to be around Rs 2,000 crore.

Keeping an eye on this market, they (AstraZeneca and Bristol) have jointly launched oral drug Onglyza (saxagliptin) in the Indian market, which will compete with drugs from Novartis and Merck.

Commenting about the alliance, Anandh Balasundaram, managing director of AstraZeneca Pharma India said, “Pulling together knowledge, expertise and resources from both companies will create a powerful force to help doctors and patients fight diabetes”.

AstraZeneca is currently present in cardiovascular, respiratory, maternal healthcare, oncology, infection and pain control and anesthesia segments.

The drug would be marketed at a price of Rs 38 per dose of 5 mg strength.

“Saxagliptin is being introduced in India at an affordable price. The drug will be launched at a fifth of its price in the US, to help a wide section of Indian diabetic patients to access the drug. It is administered as a single daily 5 mg dose in adult patients with type-2 diabetes mellitus to improve sugar control,” said Balasundaram.

Alok Sonig, Managing Director, Bristol-Myers Squibb India, said, “Together with our partner AstraZeneca, we will combine knowledge and expertise to help doctors and patients fight diabetes, a disease reaching almost epidemic proportions in many regions throughout the world.”

This is the first time that two pharmaceutical companies have joined forces to combat a disease in India.