Teva Pharmaceuticals said Sunday night it was expanding to South Korea by forming a joint venture with Handok Pharmaceuticals.
Teva will get 51 percent of profits under the joint venture, Teva said in a statement, with Handok collecting the other 49 percent.
Teva is based in Israel, but has its Americas headquarters in North Wales.
The terms of the deal were not included in the statement, though it was suggested drugs would start to be sold in the next few months.
Teva will be responsible for making and supplying the medicine, while Handok will handle sales and marketing, distribution, and regulatory issues, according to the statement.
"This is another significant step in our strategy to expand Teva's presence in growing markets and excluding Japan, this is our first alliance in East Asia," Prof. Itzhak Krinsky, who is leads Teva's Japanese and Korean divisions and head other Asia Pacific business development, said in a statement. "By utilizing Teva's broad portfolio, R&D capabilities and its global infrastructure and know-how coupled with Handok's expertise and strong reputation in Korea, Teva and Handok plan to assume a prominent position in the Korean pharmaceutical market. The business venture will enable patients to gain more access to the treatments they need including innovative therapies, such as our multiple sclerosis treatment Copaxone and branded generics."
Teva estimated that the South Korean market is worth $14 billion.
"We are glad to open up new business opportunities through this business venture with Teva, which has a broad, unparalleled portfolio of innovative specialty therapeutics, generics, biosimilars and innovative medicines," Handok chief executive officer Young-jin Kim said in a statement. "We expect this business venture to contribute greatly to the Korean pharmaceutical industry by supplying medicines at more affordable prices and providing innovative treatment solutions for CNS, respiratory and women's health."
Meanwhile, other stock analysts weighed in after Teva's investor day last week in New York.
Bloomberg reported that Teva's American depository receipts, which are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, fell more last week in New York than anytime in the last 16 months. The stock sank 10 percent in the week to $38.10, the steepest slide since the five-days ended August 5, 2011, according to Bloomberg. The story is here.
"There's this Copaxone overhang, and people wanted more details on Teva's pipeline, and they just didn't give that," Todd Bassion, who helps manage more than $1 billion, including Teva shares, at Delaware Investments in Boston, said according to Bloomberg. "Investors were hoping they'd have a higher commitment for cash returns to shareholders."