News of the talks between Weill and the Indian pharmaceutical giant Indian pharmaceutical group Hindustan Unilever has raised hopes for its future drug supply in India.
News of the deals, which are likely to take several years to finalise, come as the world’s second-largest producer of prescription medicines faces an unprecedented economic crisis, with an estimated 1.3 billion people in need of medical care.
In December, India’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned of the impact of a $4.2bn pandemic on its own medicines.
Weill and HindustansUnilever are already in talks to supply three medicines in India: The first of these is a cancer treatment called Jyjura which is currently being tested on animals.
The company is also looking to partner with a pharmaceutical company in India to develop the Jyjira medicine, which would be sold in India for around $400 per dose.
The second is a medicine called Lanceran that is currently in trials for treating a rare type of cancer called sarcoma, but which could also be used to treat more serious conditions.
India has also expressed interest in the development of the new medicine called AneuTris which is a form of stem cell therapy.
Weill declined to comment on the discussions with HindustensUnilevers.
According to a report in the Financial Times, Weill is in discussions with the Indian drugmaker to supply two medicines, a treatment called Ipotrol and a cancer medicine called Icyx.
Both medicines are being tested in animal models.
“We have a long history of working with Indian companies, and the collaboration with Hindostan Universel we have seen so far is a very exciting step,” said Paul Haggard, chairman and chief executive of Weill.
It is unclear how the deal will affect the company’s drug supply, with a spokesman for Hindustani Unilevers, which is the parent company of Hindustann Unileves, saying that it is still in discussions.
But with more than 1,300 drug approvals in India, it is clear that HindustaUniversales drug portfolio is growing, and will be a major beneficiary of the countrys health problems.
Hindustans Unilevin currently sells medicines for the US market.
As of January, India has the highest number of people in the world who are seriously ill with a range of ailments including cancer, asthma, liver, and a host of others.
The country is now the second-biggest consumer of medical drugs in the global market.
India is expected to face a shortage of medicine for the next two decades, with the country having one of the highest rates of malnourishment and poverty in the developed world.
Many of the worlds biggest pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, have pulled out of India, leaving a vacuum.
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