Merck & Co., Inc. and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., a leading Indian multinational pharmaceutical company, today announced the creation of a joint venture to develop, manufacture and commercialize new combinations and formulations of innovative, branded generics in the Emerging Markets.

"Merck's Emerging Markets strategy is driven by our overarching focus on applying innovation across our business from introducing novel compounds to broadening our focus on innovative branded generics," said Kevin Ali, president, Emerging Markets, Merck/MSD. "By combining forces with Sun Pharma, we are complementing our innovative product portfolio with a solid foundation for addressing the diverse needs of patients, physicians and governments across the Emerging Markets." The partnership combines Sun Pharma's proven track record of leadership and expertise in rapid, innovative product development using Sun Pharma Advanced Research Company Ltd's ("SPARC") proprietary platform technologies, and Sun Pharma's world-class manufacturing network with Merck's clinical development and registration expertise and a broad, geographic commercial footprint. The companies said that they will focus on 'innovative branded generics,' that bring together combinations of medicines using platform delivery technologies designed to enhance convenience for patients in Emerging Markets. The joint venture will be structured through Merck and Sun Pharma's respective subsidiaries. Financial details of the joint venture were not disclosed.

"This joint venture reinforces our strategy of partnering to launch products using our highly innovative delivery technologies around the world," said Dilip S. Shanghvi, chairman and managing director, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. "Merck has an unrivalled reputation as a world leading, innovative, research-driven pharmaceutical company.

We're proud to be associated with them and look forward to working together." Experts estimate that during the coming decade, the Emerging Markets are expected to drive 90 percent of the world's pharmaceutical growth, with 75 percent of that growth coming from branded generics. In these markets, the growing burden of chronic disease, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hepatitis, along with an increasing population and economic prosperity, is leading to an increased demand for branded generics.

"Merck has a proud legacy of developing innovative medicines and vaccines with proven ability to impact global human health," said Ali.

"We are making good progress executing on our Emerging Markets growth strategy by establishing novel partnerships and strategic alliances.

This joint venture helps position us for leadership in the fastest growing geographies." The collaboration between MSD and Sun Pharma will be managed by a Joint Board and leadership team, consisting of members of senior management from both companies.