November 6, 2019 / 3:11 AM / 6 days ago

AstraZeneca to distribute Sun Pharma cancer drugs in China

FILE PHOTO: The company logo for pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is displayed on a screen on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Top Indian drugmaker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (SUN.NS) said on Wednesday Britain’s AstraZeneca (AZN.L) would distribute some of Sun’s cancer treatment drugs in China, the world’s second-largest pharmaceutical market.

Shares of the Mumbai-based company rose as much as 5.4% to a nine-week high after the announcement.

As per the licensing agreement, Sun will be responsible for development, regulatory filings and manufacturing of the drugs, while AstraZeneca will exclusively promote and distribute the products in China, according to a filing here to Indian stock exchanges.

The company did not name the drugs covered under the agreement, which comes after Chinese President Xi Jinping last month welcomed Indian investment in pharmaceuticals here and textiles.

Cancer has been on the rise in China, driven by air pollution and high rates of smoking. Water pollution and excessive use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides have also been blamed for an increase in cancer rates in rural areas.

“We see a great potential to introduce our speciality and generic products in the growing China market,” said Kal Sundaram, Sun Pharma’s director of corporate development.

Financial terms of the agreement, which has an initial tenure of 10 years, were not disclosed.

Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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