Cipla Ltd, India’s fourth-largest drugmaker by sales, said on Thursday it had agreed to an exclusive deal with Serum Institute of India to supply vaccines to South Africa, adding a new market to their partnership in India and Europe.
Cipla’s unit Cipla Medpro, South Africa’s third-largest drugs manufacturer, will be responsible for obtaining regulatory approvals and marketing of the vaccines under the deal terms, Cipla said in a statement to exchanges.
The deal is Cipla’s second in as many months. In September, the company said it was buying two U.S. generics businesses in deals worth $550 million, following rivals with a push to enhance its presence in the world’s largest generics market.
The Indian billionaire Cyrus Poonawalla, founder of Serum, which is the world’s largest maker of vaccines by volume, told local media in February that he had held talks with Cipla for a merger between the companies.
He said at the time that the companies could “take things forward” if their partnership on vaccines in Europe, struck in November 2014, was a success.