Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, the country second largest pharma company, expects to sign a definitive agreement by June with Japan-based Fujifilm for a joint venture that will develop and produce generic drugs for the Japanese market.

“A definitive agreement is expected to be signed by June. After that it will take 2-3 years before we come out with products. We will have to get product approvals form Japanese authorities before the launch,” Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) Chief Financial Officer Umang Vohra told PTI.

DRL had announced the partnership in July, 2011.

Replying to a query, Mr. Vohra also said the company may set up a manufacturing facility there as part of the JV agreement.

“We cannot share the finer details as of now. If require we will set up a facility. It depends on the terms of the agreement,” he added.

According to IMS data, Japan is the world’s second largest pharmaceutical market, estimated to be USD 97 billion.

Low penetration with only about 23 per cent of Japanese prescription drug sales (by volume) contributed by generics as compared to 70 per cent by volume in the US.

The Japanese government is actively promoting use of generics to alleviate patients’ expense and reduce the national medical expenditure under the goal of “increasing the market share of generic drugs by sales volume to at least 30 per cent by 2012, Fujifilm had said when it signed the MOU with DRL.

The joint venture plans to design products that fit the specific requirements of the Japanese market, aiming to deliver reliable, high quality generic drugs enabling the growth of generic drug market, according to Fujifilm.

The new joint venture will have 51 per cent stake owned by Fujifilm and 49 per cent stake owned by Dr Reddy’s.

The new company will develop, manufacture and promote competitive and high quality generic drugs utilising both Fujifilm’s advanced quality control technologies and DRL’s expertise in cost competitive production technologies for active pharmaceutical ingredients and formulations, DRL had earlier said in a statement.

More In: Companies | Business