Sanofi to enter Japan's generic drug market: report

27th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis will enter the Japanese generic drugs market through a tie-up with a Japanese partner, a report said Thursday.

Sanofi-Aventis will take a nearly five percent stake in leading Japanese generic drug maker Nichi-Iko Pharmaceutical for about five billion yen (56 million dollars), the Nikkei newspaper said, without citing its sources.

Sanofi-Aventis chief executive Christopher Viehbacher is scheduled to hold a news conference later Thursday in Tokyo about his business plans in Japan.

Sanofi-Aventis and Nichi-Iko will also form a joint venture in Japan, with the French group taking a 51-percent stake in it to develop new generic drugs, the Nikkei said.

The joint venture will also import Sanofi-Aventis products into Japan for sale, the newspaper said.

The French company believes the Japanese market is under-developed and has room for significant growth, as the government has so far failed to promote generic drugs as a way to curb soaring health care costs, the Nikkei said.

© 2010 AFP

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