Nicholas Piramal enters into alliance with Biogen Idec, USA

Mumbai: Nicholas Piramal India Ltd (NPIL), the second-largest pharmaceutical company in India, has entered into a strategic alliance with Biogen Idec, the world's third-largest biotech company. NPIL's biotech division will market Avonex (Interferon beta 1a), a leading life-saving therapy for multiple sclerosis (MS), in India and Nepal.

Avonex, a pre-filled syringe (PFS), is a proven treatment for effective management of relapsing multiple sclerosis. Today, it is already improving long-term outcomes for more than 130,000 patients across the world. Avonex was launched in the US in 1996 and later in 1997 in Europe and is marketed in more than 65 countries.

Biogen Idec is a $2.3-billion biotechnology major, headquartered in the US. Avonex, the proven therapy for multiple sclerosis, contributes to over $1 billion of their global revenue. NPIL also launched Curosurf, a lung surfactant for premature babies with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). Curosurf is a product of Chiese Farmaceutici, a European pharmaceutical company headquartered in Parma, Italy.

Says Dr Swati Piramal, director (strategic alliances and communication) NPIL: "The tie-up with Biogen Idec is in line with our strategy of being the 'partner of choice' and to bring new, innovative therapies to the Indian market. Avonex will further accelerate our already vibrant growth in the biotechnology segment."

Says Dimitri Spiessens, senior manager (international distributor) Biogen Idec: "We at Biogen Idec are always aware and driven by the connection that exists between quality of our science and quality of life of the patients we serve. In Nicholas, we have found the perfect partner to translate our sentiment into reality in India and Nepal markets."