Updated on 14 May 2012
"Specialty drugs and biosimilars are new avenues that have high profitability in the long run and partnering in these innovative areas can be viable opportunity for both the parties. However, the opportunities are very big and the challenges are highly complex," pointed out Ms Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, CMD, Biocon. She was speaking at the two-day BioPharma Asia convention held in Singapore on March 20.
The need to maintain marketing control can often restrict the choices available for strategic partnership, added Ms Shaw. "Also the need to explore products from a therapeutic perspective influences the choice of partner. The parties need to identify the requirements and then move ahead."
At a recently held biosciences conference organized by BioSpectrum in Singapore, Ms Cheryl McCaffery, deputy director, Industry Development Group, A*Star, Singapore, spoke about the various sides of collaborations. She mentioned that in the process of selecting a partner, a research company should understand the structure of the industry trends and niche areas where the technology could be applied. "One should analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the partner and then begin courting," she said.
Market dynamics are also huge in Asia, as one region differs completely from the other. There is a big difference in pricing, policies, trends and market needs. Also, local competition is strong; the generics business being especially competitive. Adapting to the regional markets of Asia too is a complex process.
Besides, there is a threat to licensing as demonstrated in the case of Nexavar in India. "One of the biggest challenges that Asian companies have to face is the lack of Intellectual Property (IP) protocol. Partnerships with MNCs help in bridging this gap and getting IP protection for their innovative products," says Mr Wang Jian, president, BGI, China.