Eris Lifesciences ties up with MJ Biopharm to venture into India’s insulin market

INDIA – Diabetes major, Eris Lifesciences has entered into a joint venture with Mumbai- based MJ Biopharm in order to leverage the market opportunity in Human Insulin, Insulin Analogues and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1) agonists.

Eris’ product portfolio will now include insulins and GLP1 agonists. These categories account for 61% of the anti-diabetes market in the United States, but only 21% in India, according to Eris Lifesciences in an official statement.

According to the company, the low penetration is largely due to the limited number of suppliers in the Indian market.

Eris anticipates significant growth in these segments, owing to the fact that diabetes is a progressive disease and insulin/GLP 1 therapy is the gold standard in diabetes management in developed markets.

Eris Lifesciences will hold a 70% stake in the venture, with MJ Biopharm holding the remaining 30%. The joint venture’s initial contract term will be ten years.

This joint venture, Eris Lifesciences’ first foray into the field of biopharmaceuticals, will primarily market and distribute Human and Analogue Insulins, as well as GLP-1 agonists and other biopharma products in India.

The joint venture’s business will begin with Human Insulin; the venture’s scope includes the entire range of Insulin Analogues (Glargine, Aspart, and Lispro) and GLP-1 agonists (e.g., Liraglutide), as well as potentially other Biopharmaceutical products.

Upon completion, MJ will be paid a one-time license fee of close to US$2 million (Rs15 crore).

Eris will be in charge of ongoing sales and marketing, distribution, and pharmacovigilance under the terms of the joint vanture.

According to Eris Lifesciences, the goal of this joint venture is to expand the product portfolio in order to provide biotherapeutic options to patients in the cardio-metabolic segment.

The joint venture will obtain recombinant human insulin and insulin analogues from a supplier and market and distribute them in the domestic market.

According to the company, Eris Lifesciences will be in charge of ongoing sales and marketing, distribution, and pharmacovigilance, while MJ Biopharm will be in charge of supplying products to the joint venture under the terms of a 10-year supply agreement.

The joint venture’s business will begin with the introduction of human insulin in the fourth quarter of FY22. The company also intends to launch glargine in 2023, followed by the other products.

MJ Biopharm develops and commercializes recombinant biosimilar formulations, with biologics bulk and formulations based on the microbial fermentation platform manufactured in India.

More bio-therapeutic formulations are proposed to be launched by the joint venture over time, following the Supplier’s completion of product development and commercialization.

In October, US pharma giant Eli Lilly joined hands with Mumbai-based Cipla to market its insulin products in India.

The two companies announced a strategic partnership in India to enhance the reach of Lilly’s diabetes products – Humalog (Insulin Lispro) and Trulicity (Dulaglutide).

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