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"Over the Next 2-3 Years We Will Leverage Developmental Capabilities and Explore In-licensing and a Co-development Model to Consolidate Our Presence in Japan" - Dr. Kailash Sharma, President, Japan Operations, Zydus Cadila

TOKYO, July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- With a business plan to launch 8-10 new products each year, Nippon Universal Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of the Zydus group, one of India's leading integrated pharma companies & a global healthcare provider, is looking to give a big boost to its operations in the Japanese generic market which is still evolving. While the total pharma market in Japan is estimated at $ 60 bn the generic market is only about 6% of this in value terms and just 18% in volume, which is very low compared to highly genericised markets like USA and Europe. The awareness of generics in Japan is comparatively low and generics are still largely perceived as cheaper, low quality alternatives to patented drugs. The nationwide promotion and awareness campaign regarding the safety and efficacy of generics however is expected to change this perception and usage in future.

Zydus was one of the few Indian companies to make an early foray in the Japan generic market. In 2007, the group acquired Nippon Universal, a small generic company which now spearheads the group's operations in Japan.

"Our aim clearly is to support the government's stated objective of increasing generic penetration in order to cope up with ever increasing health expenditures. Over the next 2-3 years we will leverage developmental capabilities and explore in-licensing and a co-development model to consolidate our presence in Japan", said Dr. Kailash Sharma, the newly appointed President to spearhead operations in Japan.

Being one of the few pharma professionals who can combine research, strategy and marketing expertise, Dr. Kailash Sharma is much sought after. Dr. Kailash Sharma with over 13 years of experience in the Japan's pharma industry will be steering the group's operations in this crucial growth phase. With a doctorate in Cell & Molecular Biology from Kurume University Medical School, Japan and an Executive MBA from Temple University, Philadelphia, USA, Dr. Sharma has earlier worked with Eisai, Nippon Boehringer Ingelheim and Sanofi - Aventis, Japan and has successfully managed the core functions in all phases of drug development cycles. Last but not least, being in Japan for about 20 years, first as a doctorate researcher and then as a pharmaceutical professional, Dr. Sharma is very well familiar and have respect for Japanese culture, legal system, quality standards, regulatory guidelines and business practices in Japan.

With a focus on quality medicines, Nippon Universal will be leveraging Zydus' capabilities in oral solids, injectables, biosimilars etc. While ramping up the product pipeline is important, the group's strategy would be more country specific and focus on the unmet needs in the Japanese market. elaborating on the group's approach, Dr. Sharma said "We believe that there is a growing need for high quality, affordable therapies while reducing the healthcare cost burden. We are looking to combine expertise with adaptability. Understanding specific market needs and backing it up with customer centric approach will form the core of our strategy." The group plans to post sales of Yen 20 billion in Japan by 2015.

SOURCE Zydus Cadila
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