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UPDATE 1-Japan's Takeda hires India head, to decide on entry

* Company hires industry veteran as India ops head - spox

* Takeda has not decided how to enter India market - spox

* Japan’s Daiichi bought majority stake in Ranbaxy last year (Adds Takeda comments)

BANGALORE, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Takeda Pharmaceutical 4502.T is looking to enter the fast-growing Indian drug market, but Japan's largest drugmaker is yet to decide whether it will do so on its own or through acquisition, a spokesman said on Wednesday. TheFinancial Express reported on Wednesday that Takeda had appointed Shankar Suryanarayanan, who had previously worked with Swiss drugmakers Roche ROG.VX and Novartis NOVN.VX, as head of its India operations.

Hisashi Tokinoya, a spokesman for Takeda, confirmed that the company had hired Suryanarayanan last month as head of its Indian operations.

“We may enter the market by ourselves. We may make an acquisition. We may form an alliance. Nothing has been decided,” Tokinoya told Reuters in Tokyo. Takeda’s president said on Monday the company could acquire a company to help it enter the generic drug business in emerging markets. [ID:nT53116]

Global pharmaceutical companies are increasingly turning their attention to emerging markets and to generics as they face tougher safety and cost hurdles for new drugs in developed markets, and as their existing top sellers go off-patent.

Demand for generic drugs from Indian producers such as Cipla CIPL.BO, Dr Reddy's Laboratories REDY.BORDY.N and Ranbaxy Laboratories RANB.BO is booming as nations battle rising healthcare costs.

In June, Dr Reddy’s entered into a pact with GlaxoSmithKline under which Glaxo will get access to its drugs and supply them in emerging markets such as Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. [ID:nLF635888]

Takeda's Japanese rival, Daiichi Sankyo 4568.T, last year bought a majority stake in Ranbaxy, India's largest pharmaceutical company by sales.

The Financial Express reported, without citing any sources, that Suryanarayanan was scouting the Indian market to look for opportunities to partner with large drug makers, and the company might also pick up a minority stake in such firms. (Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee; additional reporting by Nathan Layne in Tokyo; Editing by John Mair) ((sumeet.chatterjee@thomsonreuters.com; +91-80-3982 7450; Reuters Messaging: sumeet.chatterjee.reuters.com@reuters.net)) ((If you have a query or comment on this story, send an email to news.feedback.asia@thomsonreuters.com))

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