London, 17 August, 2011: Hikma Pharmaceuticals (LSE: HIK) (NASDAQ Dubai: HIK) (“Hikma”), the fast growing pharmaceutical company, today announces that its wholly-owned subsidiary Hikma Pharmaceuticals Ltd. has entered into a licensing and distribution agreement with Vifor Pharma, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Galenica Group, under which Hikma will market Ferinject®, Vifor Pharma’s innovative treatment for iron deficiency, in the Middle East and North African region (“MENA”). The agreement will leverage Hikma’s local presence, regional marketing and regulatory expertise, allowing Hikma to maximise the potential of one of the world’s fastest-growing markets for iron deficiency products.
The agreement covers Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen. Patients in these countries will gain access to Ferinject®, an efficacious, well tolerated and convenient treatment for iron deficiency. Hikma, with over 1,600 sales and marketing staff in the region, will receive exclusive rights to market and distribute a product that complements its portfolio of prescription pharmaceuticals. Vifor Pharma, one of the world’s leaders in the treatment of iron deficiency, will see Ferinject® registered and brought to market far more quickly than would otherwise be possible.
“This collaboration is great news for Vifor Pharma. It is also very good news for all patients suffering from iron deficiency in the MENA region. These patients will soon have access to a new and much-needed therapeutic option,” said Dr David Ebsworth, CEO of Vifor Pharma. “I am delighted that Hikma – a company with great expertise and standing – shares our view of the potential of Ferinject® and has decided to contribute to the further success of the product.”
Said Darwazah, CEO of Hikma Pharmaceuticals, said: "Ferinject® has been demonstrated to have a powerful impact in the treatment of iron deficiency. This agreement enables us to bring another world class product to patients in the MENA region and we look forward to a long and successful collaboration with Vifor Pharma."
The MENA pharmaceutical market is forecast to grow at an annualized rate of around 11% over the next five years, offering excellent growth potential for high-quality innovative pharmaceuticals such as Ferinject®. The countries covered by the agreement have a combined population of approximately 295 million inhabitants.
Already registered in over 35 countries, Ferinject® offers patients, doctors and payers significant therapeutic and pharmaco-economic benefits over existing treatment options. Within the MENA region, the product has already received marketing authorisation for Lebanon. Preparations for regulatory submissions in the other countries are already underway, and both companies are optimistic that Ferinject® will be registered and made available to patients within a reasonably rapid time-frame.