Lilly expands partnership with Novast for branded generics

Thursday, June 14, 2012 02:53 PM

In support of its commitment to maximize growth opportunities in China, Eli Lilly has increased its network of manufacturing capabilities in this key emerging market country through an expanded collaboration with Novast Laboratories.

Novast, a generic and specialty pharmaceutical company based in Nantong, China, has established high-quality systems and manufacturing facilities for the global and domestic Chinese markets. Lilly expects its expanded partnership with Novast to greatly enhance its efforts to build a portfolio of Lilly branded generic medicines in China. The collaboration may also ultimately result in Novast providing local and regional manufacturing capabilities for Lilly's own pipeline of potential new medicines in development.

Lilly will increase its equity position in Novast by $20 million. Lilly made an initial equity investment in Novast several years ago through the Lilly venture capital unit, Lilly Asian Ventures. Novast has committed to set up a platform to support Lilly branded generic products and increase the manufacturing capacity at its Nantong site over the next several years, with Lilly providing technical support to enhance quality standards. The additional capacity will support the collaboration, but will not be solely dedicated to Lilly products. The two companies have selected an initial list of medicines across multiple therapeutic areas that will be manufactured by Novast once the facilities are operational. Additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"As we develop a platform of high-quality Lilly branded generic medicines in China, we are supporting the Chinese governments' current five-year plan, which calls for significant improvement in the quality of medicines in the pharmaceutical industry," said Jacques Tapiero, senior vice president and president of emerging markets, Eli Lilly. "The additional manufacturing capabilities provided by Novast will allow us to better deliver on that strategy."

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