UCB has signed a deal with Newbridge Pharmaceuticals which will see the Dubai-headquartered firm sell the Belgian drugmaker's three new products - Cimzia, Vimpat and Neupro.

The Brussels-based company says that Newbridge has acquired the rights from the former's previous partner in the region, the Rx Group, to market Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) for rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease, Vimpat (lacosamide) for epilepsy and Neupro (rotigotine) for Parkinson’s disease and restless legs syndrome. NewBridge will also be responsible for managing the local regulatory approval process and pharmacovigilance in each of the relevant countries.

Luc Vermeesch, UCB's head of international major markets, spoke about NewBridge's "solid experience and strong leadership team in the Middle East and Africa region". The three drugs covered by the deal are helping to soften the decline in sales of UCB's antiepileptic Keppra (levetiracetam), which has been hit by generic competition in the USA and Europe.

Newbridge was set up last year to specialise in in-licensing, acquiring, registering and commercialising therapeutics for the AfMET markets (Africa, Middle East, Turkey and Caspian regions) that have been approved by regulators in the USA, Europe and Japan. Chief executive Joe Henein said "we strongly believe that Cimzia, Vimpat and Neupro have great potential in our territory and will contribute significantly to the physicians’ abilities to treat patients with immunologic and CNS afflictions".

Meantime, UCB has sold its production facility in Vapi, India to Exemed Pharmaceuticals in a deal that includes a multi-year supply agreement. Financial details have not been not disclosed.

By choosing Exemed as its Indian partner, UCB says that it "is confidently transferring its production to a fast-growing manufacturing company that has the highest quality standards and growth ambitions for the site". Some 60 staff will transfer over to Exemed.