Eli Lilly and Glenmark announced last week a deal in which Lilly will license from Glenmark the rights to a new set of molecules (a portfolio of TRPV1 antagonist molecules, including a clinical compound, GRC 6211.)
The world has for some time been well aware (and impressed) with the performance of India’s top ‘generic’ companies. In an interesting example of taking a generic IP Strategy to the next level, Lupin entered into two recent IP portfolio sales to Servier earlier this year in relation to Perindopril. The Glenmark-Lilly deal is at another level – this time the originating research on a new subclass of molecules.
The buzz from this deal (finally) seems to be reinforicing the strength of Indian ingenuity in the pharmaceutical sector outside the ‘pure-play generic’ genre. For those who may be unaware, Glenmark is not the only leading Indian pharmaceutical company with multiple new compounds in late clinical trials.
The deal also clearly reinforces a point that I have been making for some time – that the distinction between ‘generic’ and ‘brand’ companies is an outmoded way of thinking. A company’s strategy for a given molecule is not dictated by the company’s historical business model, but the entire context of the situation.
What’s interesting for India as its pharmaceutical companies develop more new compounds, will be the extent to which there is pressure to repeal legislation such as the much debated section 3(d).