AstraZeneca to buy China's generic maker Guangdong BeiKang Pharma

AstraZeneca is buying China's privately owned generic injectable antibiotics maker Guangdong BeiKang Pharmaceutical, for an undisclosed sum, as Britain's second biggest drugmaker looks for growth in emerging markets, even as it cuts jobs in the UK and the US to face the onslaught of generic products for some of its leading drugs whose patents will soon expire (See: AstraZeneca to cut 1,150 sales jobs in the US).

The deal will give AstraZeneca access to a portfolio of injectable medicines used to treat infections, which will be sold under the in China under the AstraZeneca brand.

Following completion of the acquisition, AstraZeneca will be responsible for the manufacture and commercialisation of these medicines, which will be contingent on the approval of regulatory authorities, including the approval of the Ministry of Commerce in China.

The Anglo-Swedish company said that the acquisition reinforces its commitment to bringing innovative original and high quality branded generic medicines to Chinese patients.

Mark Mallon, president of AstraZeneca's Asia-Pacific region, said. ''AstraZeneca continues to invest in the key emerging markets such as China where the combination of growing populations, elevated levels of chronic diseases and increasing income are driving demand and expectations for better healthcare treatment.''

It is estimated that there are over 800 million patients in China who are not covered by the network of big hospitals in large cities, and who currently have only limited access to quality treatments.