BENGALURU–NeoBiocon, a joint venture of Biocon and the Gulf-based Neopharma, is partnering with Swiss-based drug major Novartis to market its oral anti-diabetic medicines in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“We have tied up Novartis Middle East in Jebel Ali free zone to expand our product offerings in the metabolic segment and benefit diabetics in UAE,” Neopharma chairman B.R. Shetty said in a statement here on Thursday.

The drugs – Jalra (Vildagliptin) and Jalra-M (Vildagliptin & Metformin) – deliver blood sugar control in patients with type-two diabetes.

Total market for oral hypoglycaemic agents (OHA) in the UAE is estimated to be $115 million and DPP-IV (dipeptidyl peptidase) inhibitors command about 50 percent market share.

Vildagliptin is available as monotherapy and in combination with metformin. Both the drugs commands over 30 percent of the DPP-IV market in the UAE.

The UAE’s health ministry has approved the company’s application to market the twin drugs from January in the region.

Novartis will make the drugs in Europe and ship them to NeoBiocon for distribution in the Gulf region.

“Biocon’s leadership in the diabetes segment will augur well for marketing these brands in the UAE,” said Shetty.

Set up in 2011, the JV also markets its brands in the region & other GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) markets in various therapies such as metabolics, oncology, asthma and allergic rhinitis.

“As we are committed to offer advanced therapies for diabetics the world over, AJalra and Jalra-M will meet the needs of type 2 diabetes patients in the UAE,” Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw added.