Novartis has linked up with Beijing Med-Pharm Corp to sell the firm’s bladder treatment Enablex in China.

The Swiss major’s Shanghai Novartis Trading subsidiary has signed an exclusive agreement with Beijing Med-Pharm to register, market and distribute Enablex (darifenacin), a treatment for symptoms of urinary incontinence, urgency and urinary frequency related to an overactive bladder. Sales of the drug, which Novartis currently sells with Procter & Gamble, currently stand at around $2.3 million.

However this figure is set to grow through this new deal as OAB afflicts an estimated 24-29% of the population in China over the age of 24, or over 200 million people, and less than 15% of OAB sufferers seek treatment.
David Gao, chief executive at Beijing Med-Pharm, said the deal is “a vote of confidence” for his firm “and speaks to our proven ability to navigate China’s complex healthcare environment, from managing the approval process to ultimately optimizing sales and profitability”.

Under the terms of the agreement, Beijing Med-Pharm is responsible for attaining approval of Enablex in China, “a process that is expected to last through 2010”. It will then have the exclusive rights to sell Enablex in China for ten years.

Meantime, Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs says Novartis has decided to invest further in R&D on the island. The firm has already spent more than $15.4 million there in the past five years.