Twenty-five Walloon companies accompanied King Philippe and Queen Mathilde on their trip to India. One of them, the Namur company Vésale Pharma, a pioneer in the field of micro-organisms, agreed a partnership with the Indian company Morepen Laboratories for the exclusive distribution of four of its flagship products. The turnover from this five-year contract is currently estimated at 4.5 million euros for the first three years, but could then increase by 20% a year.
The agreement initially provides for the exclusive distribution of Bacilac Infantis, Bacilac ORS, Bacilac Forte and Cibalax on the Indian market.
"The emerging probiotics market in India is worth around 135 million euros and is rising by 15% a year", stated Varun Suri, CEO of Morepen, during an interview with Belga in New Delhi. "We are delighted to work with Vésale Pharma, which is a very professional family-sized company."
Morepen Laboratories is particularly interested in Vésale's Intelicaps technology, a micro-capsule that keeps probiotics alive until they reach the colon. "It is very easy to use and the product arrives intact", said Mr Muri. The CEO added that Morepen Laboratories will soon launch an information campaign for doctors on the Vésale Pharma probiotics distributed in the Indian market.
According to Jehan Liénart, founder of Vésale Pharma, probiotics have a role to play in the "huge Indian market", as the country has a major problem with diarrhoea, one of the main causes of death in children. Furthermore, added Varu Suri, the population takes a lot of antibiotics, "which can disturb intestinal flora". "Health practices are changing, people are living more stressful lives and don't get enough sleep, resulting in constipation or diarrhoea", he added. The three major focuses of activity for Vésale in 2016 and 2017 are enhancing our role as a leader in Research and Development in probiotics, establishing our position in the parent market and increasing our visibility and credibility in international markets, continued Jehan Liénart, whose company is also in talks with the Indian group Tata.
Morepen Laboratories is a pharmaceutical group listed on the Mumbai stock exchange and has a portfolio of some one hundred products, many of which deal with generic medicines; it has a turnover of 82 million euros.
Last December, Vésale Pharma, based in Éghezée, opened its representation office in New Delhi with the assistance of the Wallonia Export-Investment Agency (Awex) to study the probiotics market in India. The Namur company has also recently opened a subsidiary in Texas in preparation for a research project that it will carry out in cooperation with Texas A&M University. Its latest research project, the company's treatment for thrush, a buccolingual fungal infection that affects around one million people, was launched in Belgium last year.
The company, which has 40 employees, increased its turnover by 32% in the first half of 2016.