CiplaMumbai-based drugmaker Cipla is in talks with global pharma majors for a drug research and supply agreement, said a top company executive recently.

Lulla, joint MD Cipla told pharmaquest.biz, “We are in discussions with multiple global pharma companies, but nothing has been finalised.” He declined to comment on reports that the firm is also talking to the world’s largest drugmaker Pfizer for collaboration.

CiplaMr Lulla, however, ruled out a stake sale by the Indian company. The Pfizer India spokesperson could not be immediately contacted for comment. Global pharma majors such as the UK’s GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer are now partnering Indian drug companies for low-cost generics, as they battle loss of patent of their original blockbuster drugs, resulting in sales drop. Cipla share price rose 2.67% to close at Rs 328.70 at BSE on Tuesday.

In June, Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s entered into a pact with GSK allowing the foreign partner to supply its drugs across Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Similarly, Pfizer has inked a drug supply agreement with Aurobindo and Claris Lifesciences.
 
Ranjit Kapadia, V-P institutional research at HDFC Securities, said Cipla could be a good partner for Pfizer. “Cipla has presence across therapies and strong in inhalers, AIDS and cancer drugs. Besides, they have the US FDA approved facilities, which can make generic drugs at a low-cost,” he added.

Pfizer is aggressively looking at Indian companies, as it aims to grow its generic business to sustain revenues that is expected to suffer after the loss of patent on its blockbuster drugs, including the $12-billion Lipitor in the next 2-3 years. The American company is also looking at buying companies in India, and has approached several Indian companies.