A couple of days after buying a chunk of its European operations, Sweden’s Meda is now setting up joint ventures with Valeant Pharmaceuticals International for other key territories.

Meda and Valeant have agreed to form JVs in Australia, Canada and Mexico to develop, market and commercialise “certain current and future products”. They will be majority owned by Meda and the California-based firm will hold a minority stake.

The JVs will initially include products such as the insomnia drug Sublinox (zolpidem) and the analgesic flupertine. The Stockholm-based group’s chief executive Ander Lonner said that “long-term partnerships are a fundamental cornerstone of Meda’s strategy and I believe that this collaboration will yield long-term benefits for both companies”.

His counterpart at Valeant, Michael Pearson, said that through these JVs, the firm will be able to “increase the leverage of our business operations in Canada, Mexico and Australia, while opening up new market opportunities for Meda.“

The pact comes just after Meda agreed to buy Valeant’s businesses in western and eastern Europe (excluding its operations in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic) for $392 million in cash. Mr Pearson said that the rationale for that particular deal was Valeant’s desire to focus on the North American market.

Meda also announced that sales for the first half of 2008 reached 5.16 billion Swedish crowns (about $834 million), a 38% increase compared to the previous year. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation rose 47% to 1.87 billion crowns.