BRIC Retains Pharma Investments

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Emerging markets continue to attract the attention of pharmaceutical companies thanks to their high growth and large patient populations.

Emerging markets continue to attract the attention of pharmaceutical companies thanks to their high growth and large patient populations. Back in 2011, the locations of focus were the so-called ‘BRIC’ countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China). But with more markets emerging and drawing the eyes of the pharmaceutical industry have the original BRIC countries lost some of pharma’s favour?

Not at all, judging by several developments this year.


The latest poll on asked which countries, aside from China and India, pharmaceutical companies were most interested in expanding business operations into. The clear favourite, chosen by 36% of respondents, was Brazil, followed by Other (19%) and Russia (14%).


Other announcements also suggest that Brazil continues to be an important pharmaceutical market.

In July, Quintiles, a US-based contract services provider, opened its Global Commercial Solutions business in Brazil. The business offers customised sales forces, market penetration strategies and product solutions. In addition, the company has also recently announced expansions in Russia, and the Middle East and North Africa region.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has also invested in Brazil this year. In March, the company acquired a 19.9% minority equity investment in the research company Pele Nova Biotecnologia, which focuses on tissue regeneration.

You can read more about Brazil’s pharmaceutical market here.


Abbott Laboratories signed an agreement in July for several R&D projects in Russia with the country’s ChemDiv Research Institute (CDRI). The two parties will be principally be concentrating on improving formulations of Abbott’s existing drugs.

Pfizer has also been looking to Russia for R&D projects. In July, the company granted exclusive development and marketing rights to SatRx for their DPP(1)-IVi compound, which is being investigated as a potential treatment for type 2 diabetes.

Novo Nordisk announced in April that it had started work on its new $100-million plant in Russia. The facility, located in Grabtsevo Technopark will formulate and fill insulin into the company’s Penfill and FlexPen systems for the Rusian market. The company announced its intentions to build the new plant in 2010 and manufacturing is expected to commence in 2014.

You can read more abour Russia’s pharmaceutical market here.


Today, Mylan announced that its subsidiary Mylan Pharmaceuticals Private has commenced commercial operations in India, beginning with the launch of a portfolio of 18 antiretroviral products for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. The company added that it sees “significant growth potential in India” and will be looking to expand operations into the country with additional therapeutic categories.

Also this week, the Indian pharmaceutical company Cipla announced that it would be investing in India by building facilities dedicated to active pharmaceutical ingredients in Patalganga, Bengaluru and Kurkumbh. The facilities are expected to be completed in 2012–2013.

You can read more about India’s pharmaceutical market here.


Last week saw an announcement from Covidein about the opening of the company’s China Technology Center Research and Development facility in Shanghai. Covidien plans to invest up to $45 million over a three-year period into the center, which is expected to employ around 300 people. The facility includes laboratories, as well as a simulation suite that enables healthcare professionals to be involved in the medical device design and development process.

In June, Eli Lilly said it would increase its equity in the Chinese drug-manufacturing company, Novast, by $20 million. Novast will use the investment to establish a platform that will support Eli Lilly’s branded generic products and increase the manufacturing capacity at its Nantong site over the next several years.