Mumbai, February 20 2014: In an important development, MSD, one of the world’s leading players 
in HIV innovative treatment and pharmaceutical major Cipla – best known for its leading position 
globally in ensuring treatment for all HIV/AIDS patients – today announced the formation of an India-
specific strategic partnership. Within the scope of the partnership, Cipla will have a non-exclusive 
license to market, promote and distribute MSD’s raltegravir 400mg tablet, under a different brand 
name in India. With its history of over 75 years, Cipla has a formidable operation reaching the far 
corners of the country and therefore is well placed to ensure this key medication reaches the 
patients who need it. Access to treatment and patient centric approach are cornerstone to this 
partnership, with this model both companies expect to broaden reach of raltegravir in private and 
public markets in India. Access to raltegravir is important for patients who require it as part of third 
line salvage regimen where there are few options left. 
Announcing the partnership, Mr. K. G. Ananthakrishnan, Managing Director, MSD in India said, 
“MSD is committed to developing innovative therapies that offer advances in the treatment of 
infectious diseases – including HIV. MSD’s efforts to develop treatments for HIV/AIDS have been 
under way for more than 20 years and continue today. We are proud to have entered into a 
strategic, India-specific partnership with Cipla. This partnership is aligned with our commitment 
towards patients in India and also addressing treatment challenges for high risk patients by 
providing broader access to our innovative medicines and vaccines. It is a complementary 
partnership as MSD brings the research and scientific excellence for raltegravir, and Cipla brings 
their marketing excellence, significant reach among key clinician categories to drive product access. 
MSD and Cipla both share the same commitment of providing broader access to HIV treatment.” 
Announcing the partnership, Dr Jaideep Gogtay, Chief Medical Officer, Cipla said – “This 
partnership reinforces Cipla’s ongoing commitment to HIV/AIDS treatment making life-saving drugs 
accessible. raltegravir, a third line therapy treatment will be a value addition to Cipla’s portfolio of 
HIV/AIDS treatment, especially for those patients who are resistant to the 1st and 2nd line therapy 
Cipla’s HIV/AIDS medications, including the innovative triple cocktail drug has been available for 
patients for over a decade now. Cipla has been instrumental in physician and patient education and 
also instrumental in changing the perception of people about HIV being a fatal disease to a chronic 
infection. Since Cipla has such an extensive marketing and sales operation in India, the company 
will ensure that this vital treatment reaches those patients who are in need. In this way, Cipla will 
fulfil its promise of access in terms of geographical areas. We anticipate this drug being available to 
patients from middle of this year.” 
Mr. Subhanu Saxena, MD and Global CEO, Cipla Ltd said “With Cipla’s strength in India, South 
Africa and other emerging markets, we have long been the pharmaceutical company serving 
patients who most need access to affordable medicines. By entering into this marketing partnership 
with MSD, Cipla is demonstrating its commitment to working with partners globally who share the 
same pro access philosophy of Cipla. We want to ensure that all patients, particularly in developing 
countries, get access to the most innovative, breakthrough medicines available. We look forward to 
more such collaborations ensuring lifesaving drugs like raltegravir reach the patients in need.” 
The total number of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) in India is estimated at around 20.9 lakh in 
2011. Children less than 15 years of age account for 7% (1.45 lakh) of all infections; while 86% are 
in the age-group of 15-49 years. Of all HIV infections, 39% (8.16 lakh) are among women.1 Using 
globally accepted methodologies and updated evidence on survival to HIV with and without 
treatment, it is estimated that about 1.48 lakh people died of AIDS related causes in 2011 in India. 
Deaths among HIV infected children account for 7% of all AIDS-related deaths. Wider access to 
ART has led to 29% reduction in estimated annual AIDS-related deaths during NACPIII period 
(2007-2011). 1 
Identifying this significant disease burden challenge and the need for newer innovative therapies, 
this partnership is built on a patient centric model, which will help all eligible needy patients’ access 
raltegravir molecule for benefit of their ongoing treatment regimen.- CCI Newswire


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