Pfizer Inc (PFE.N), the world's largest drugmaker, is looking to conclude deals in emerging markets over coming months to raise its share of a market worth an estimated $80 billion, an executive said on Sunday.
Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly turning their attention to developing nations as they face tougher conditions in more mature markets.
The drugmaker struck a $68 billion deal in January to acquire U.S. rival Wyeth to help shore up profits and in May signed licensing agreements with two Indian-based companies, including Aurobindo Pharma Ltd, as it seeks new growth opportunities in generics and emerging markets.
"We will have other elements in the next few months," Pfizer's emerging market business unit president Jean-Michel Halfon told when asked if the company was eyeing new acquisitions.
"We see opportunities coming from the financial crisis, opportunities to build partnerships in emerging makets."Pfizer is seeking to add $3 billion in annual sales by 2012 in developing markets and is targeting China, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, India and to a lesser extent the Middle East to help lift its 4 percent market share, Halfon said.
"We start in position number three in emerging markets and we want to be No. 1."
The emerging markets pie could increase to $120 billion by 2012 with China providing the greatest growth prospects, Halfon said.
The group saw 28 percent growth in sales in the world's most populous nation in the first quarter, he said.
Pfizer, which posted $48 billion in revenue last year, faces severe sales declines in the coming years from patent expirations to its own products, including its blockbuster Lipitor cholesterol treatment.
It has responded with the purchase of Wyeth, which Halfon said the company was looking to complete "somewhere in the fourth quarter," and the restructuring of its operating model around separate units including generic drugs and emerging markets.
"We are in a very competitive environment and need to make decisions very fast in this area, so an example of what we're doing is managing the acquisition of Wyeth … It will add significant revenues to our organisation in emerging markets by adding footprint in vaccines, biological medicine …"
Halfon said he expected growth in the Middle East of about 10 percent to 12 percent over the next five years as opportunities arise from sustained economic activity in the world's largest oil exporting region.