Avesthagen-CIPLA JV Acquires State of the Art Biological Company in Germany



    BANGALORE, INDIA, October 5 /CNW/ - Avesta Biotherapeutics and Research
Pvt. Ltd. (ABRPL), a joint venture between Avesthagen and Meditab Specialities
Ltd (of CIPLA group), announced the acquisition of Siegfried Biologics GmbH, a
fully owned subsidiary of the Siegfried Group in Switzerland.

    ABRPL, based in Bangalore, will manufacture a series of
biopharmaceuticals for the global markets with an initial focus on the BRIC
markets. This acquisition fits into the strategy of being able to manufacture
under USFDA and EMEA compliant conditions. The facility is expected to
initially focus on biopharmaceuticals that are presently under development at
Avesthagen through the Avesthagen-Cipla joint venture agreement that was
signed in May 2004.

    Siegfried Biologics GmbH, based in Berlin, Germany, was started 10 years
ago as a contract manufacturing organization (CMO). The 50 plus team of people
has a solid background and extensive experience in the development of
biologics from cell line generation, upstream process development and scale-up
to GMP manufacturing.

    This acquisition will add process development and GMP manufacturing
capabilities to the technology development prowess of Avesthagen and Cipla's
marketing expertise to further strengthen ABRPL's impact on a market presently
dominated by small chemical entities. The Indian biopharmaceutical business,
presently estimated at $1.5 billion, is expected to grow to about $5 billion
by 2010, dominated by recombinant proteins, vaccines and monoclonal
antibodies.

    Villoo Morawala Patell, Founder, Vice Chairperson and Managing Director
of Avesthagen, commented, "Avesthagen's foray into the European market with
its partner Cipla will bring a new dimension in cross-border technology
development and bring cost-effective drugs to the global market at the right
time and at the right price."

    About ABRPL

    Avesta Biotherapeutics and Research Pvt. Ltd. (ABRPL) is a joint venture
(JV) between Avestha Gengraine Technologies Pvt Ltd (Avesthagen) and Meditab
Specialities Ltd (of CIPLA group). The JV, ABRPL, based in Bangalore, will
manufacture a new generation of targeted therapies and for production of
biopharmaceuticals in India. In addition, the venture will exploit
opportunities in Biologicals Contract Manufacturing worldwide - a fast
expanding growth segment in the pharmaceuticals arena.

    The synergistic win-win Avesthagen-Cipla umbrella tie-up is in line with
similar deals seen in mature US markets. The technology development prowess of
Avesthagen is complemented by Cipla's marketing strengths. This tie-up
strengthens the growing impact of biopharmaceuticals on a market presently
dominated by chemical entities.

    The drug development partnership, which focuses on development of
biopharmaceuticals in the area of autoimmune disorders and cancers, is
expected to widen. The partnership is ongoing and the release of the first
biotherapeutic product is expected to be on the market in early 2009.

    About Siegfried

    Active in Life Science markets, the Siegfried Group is a global
manufacturer of pharmaceutical products. With production facilities located in
Switzerland, Germany, Malta and the USA, Siegfried currently has approximately
950 employees and achieved annual sales of approx. CHF 320 million in 2006.
The Siegfried Holding AG is listed on the Swiss Exchange in Zurich (SWX:
SFZN).

    Siegfried integrates two pharmaceutical business units. Siegfried Actives
develops and produces both exclusive active pharmaceutical ingredients for the
pharma industry and standard APIs. Siegfried Generics produces complex generic
products.




For further information:

For further information: Avesthagen, Bangalore Manan Bhatt, Sr. Vice
President - Communications and External Relations Tel: +91-80-2841 1665/2308
Fax: +91-80-2841 8780 E: manan@avesthagen.com

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AVESTA BIOTHERAPEUTICS AND RESEARCH PVT. LTD.

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