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Ranbaxy Laboratories Consolidates Relationship With Japan JV Partner Nippon Chemiphar Co., Ltd.


11/11/2005 12:16:52 PM

GURGAON, Haryana, India, Nov. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited (Ranbaxy) announced today that the Company is raising its equity stake in Nihon Pharmaceutical Industry Co., Ltd. (NPI), a Joint Venture between Ranbaxy and Nippon Chemiphar Co. Ltd. (NC), from the present 10% to 50%. With this enhancement, NPI will become a 50:50 Joint Venture between Ranbaxy and NC. Ranbaxy and NC have signed the agreement on November 11, 2005.

Commenting on the development, Dr. Brian Tempest, CEO and Managing Director, Ranbaxy said, "Ranbaxy's increase in the shareholding of the JV, reinforces the Company's strong commitment to the Japanese market. Further, the new structure recognizes the equal commitment of both partners and their intent to grow the generics business in Japan, in a collaborative manner."

On the occasion, Mr. Malvinder Mohan Singh, President- Pharmaceuticals and Executive Director, Ranbaxy, said, "Ranbaxy and NPI have had a successful relationship. This logical move by Ranbaxy to enhance its stake, flows from the increased comfort level of both partners and their resolve to take the business to higher levels of performance. The 50:50 JV exemplifies the synergy and the strengths, which the respective companies bring to the Joint Venture."

Kazushiro Yamaguchi, President and CEO of NC commented: "In Japanese ethical pharmaceutical industry, NC is one of the first companies to recognize the importance of generics and to make the generic business a pillar of the company's business. NC intends to be a leading company in Japan's generics market. Thus it is crucial for our business strategy that we strengthen the relationship with Ranbaxy, a partnership we began three years ago. "

Both partners have a complementary role to play. NC provides the regulatory know how and in-depth knowledge of the Japanese market, while Ranbaxy brings to the table, its diversified and rich generics product pipeline along with its astute understanding of the global generics business. Ranbaxy entered the Japanese market in the year 2002 through a strategic alliance with a mid sized research pharmaceutical company, Nippon Chemiphar Co., Ltd. (NC) of Japan and subsequently acquired a 10% equity stake in its generic subsidiary Nihon Pharmaceutical Industry Co., Ltd. (NPI). In the last three years, the techno commercial teams of Ranbaxy, NPI & NC have worked closely, leading to the successful launch of their first co-developed product Vogseal 0.2mg and 0.3mg tablets (Generic-Voglibose- used for the treatment of diabetes) in Japan in July'05. The Vogseal brand of generic Voglibose tablets launched by the JV, has already emerged as a brand leader amidst stiff generic competition. Ranbaxy has now stepped up the momentum of its product filings in Japan through the Joint Venture (NPI), to capitalize on the emerging opportunities in the Japanese generic space.

Japan - the world's second largest pharma market (about US$65 billion) currently has a relatively underdeveloped generics market (about US$4 billion amounting to only 6 % by value), as compared to other similar advanced pharmaceutical markets of the world. This underscores the huge potential in Japan for generics. The Japanese generics market is now showing distinct buoyancy and is opening up as Government will and realization drives forward the desire and commitment to reduce the country's expenditure on drugs and medication.

Nippon Chemiphar Co., Ltd. is a medium-sized Japanese pharmaceutical company that has been listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange since 1976. NC has developed and sold new pharmaceuticals, including nonsteroidal anti- inflammatory drug and antihypertensive. Recently, NC has been focusing on the areas of orthopedics and urology. NC is looking to form alliances with other pharmaceutical companies in order to enhance its drug development and marketing. Recently, NC has been focusing on another core business on generics. Japan boasts the world's highest longevity rate and is experiencing major increases in medical costs. To curb these costs, the Japanese government is encouraging the use of generics, which are neither as popular nor as much used in Japan as in other developed countries. For more information, please visit http://www.chemiphar.co.jp.

Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited, headquartered in India, is an integrated, research based, international pharmaceutical company producing a wide range of quality, affordable generic medicines, trusted by healthcare professionals and patients across geographies. Ranbaxy's continued focus on R&D has resulted in several approvals in developed markets and significant progress in New Drug Discovery Research. The Company's foray into Novel Drug Delivery Systems has led to proprietary "platform technologies", resulting in a number of products under development. The Company is serving its customers in over 100 countries and has an expanding international portfolio of affiliates, joint ventures and alliances, ground operations in 46 countries and manufacturing operations in 7 countries.

Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited

CONTACT: Charles M. Caprariello, Vice President, Corporate Communicationsof Ranbaxy Inc., +1-609-720-5615; or Edwige Buteau of RF Binder PartnersInc., +1-212- 994-7517, for Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited



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