Eli Lilly in deal with Turkish generics company

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American drugmaker Eli Lilly is in talks to form a partnership with, and potentially invest in, Turkish generic drugs company Mustafa Nevzat İlaç Sanayii A.Ş. (MN Pharmaceuticals), according to a Wall Street Journal report from 2 September 2011.


Eli Lilly is reportedly considering a minority stake in MN Pharmaceuticals, which also produces active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Undisclosed sources value the company at US$1 million and say that other Big Pharma may also be interested.

Eli Lilly is not the only Big Pharma looking to emerging markets to boost profits and try to offset some of the expected losses due to the impending patent cliff. In October 2010, Pfizer, the world’s biggest pharmaceutical company, entered into an agreement to acquire a 40% stake in Brazilian generics manufacturer Laboratorio Teuto Brasileiro for US$240 million [1].

Eli Lilly certainly needs to fill the gap in income it has experienced since it lost patent protection in some European countries, e.g. Spain, on its blockbuster antipsychotic drug Zyprexa (olanzapine) in April 2011. Zyprexa’s worldwide revenues in 2010 were just over US$5 billion, or nearly 22% of Eli Lilly’s full year sales. Half of those sales are estimated to come from the US, where the patent protection for Zyprexa will expire in October 2011. Other major European countries will lose patent protection in September 2011 [2].

Turkey is reportedly one of the fastest growing drug markets on the globe, especially given its large and increasingly wealthy population of more than 70 million people.

Any western pharmaceutical company making a deal with MN Pharmaceuticals would gain local networks and manufacturing at its four manufacturing plants. It’s API and finished dosage production is FDA approved and they have also received a certificate of good manufacturing practice from the British Ministry of Health. The company exports to 33 countries, including regional markets such as Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and other Eastern European countries. Its product portfolio includes generic drugs, such as antibiotics, that are injected rather than taken as pills. Three of MN Pharmaceuticals’ products have already been launched in the US.

Related articles

Ranbaxy launches generic olanzapine in Spain

The growth in the generics industry


1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Pfizer buys 40% stake in Brazilian generics’ manufacturer Teuto [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2011 September 09]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Pharma-News/Pfizer-buys-40-stake-in-Brazilian-generics-manufacturer-Teuto

2. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. 2011’s biggest patent expiries [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2011 September 09]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Policies-Legislation/2011-s-biggest-patent-expiries

Source: Wall Street Journal

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