British drugmaker GSK forges SKorea alliance

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Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline on Tuesday announced a partnership with South Korean market leader Dong-A Pharmaceuticals, extending the British group's presence in Asia.

"GlaxoSmithKline today entered into a strategic alliance with Dong-A Pharmaceuticals," GSK said in an official statement.

As part of the deal, Glaxo will buy a 9.9-percent stake in Dong-A for 142.9 billion Korean won or 73.9 million pounds (85.4 million euros, 109.5 million dollars).

The two groups will combine to promote both GSK and Dong-A products and will explore potential cost-savings within the Korean drugs market.

Dong-A has a large portfolio of pharmaceutical products and consumer healthcare brands and enjoyed total sales of 414 million pounds last year.

"With Dong-A's market-leading position and expertise in Korea, this alliance presents a significant opportunity for GSK to extend its commercial footprint and build operational scale in this fast growing Asian market," said Christophe Weber, GSK's Senior Vice President & Regional Director of Asia Pacific.

Won-Bae Kim, the president of Dong-A, said: "Together with GSK, we have built an excellent win-win alliance.

"This collaboration is expected to improve our market competitiveness in the fast changing domestic and global pharmaceutical markets."

© 2010 AFP

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