GSK signs up with DKSH to tap Hong Kong market

GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) is turning to market-expansion contractors DKSH to push its antibiotic products in Hong Kong, part of the drugmaker's efforts to cash in on booming Asian demand.

Under the deal, DKSH will provide contract sales services in both private clinics and trade channel for GSK's line of antibiotics, leveraging what DKSH says is the largest industry sales team in Hong Kong.

"To outsource sales and distribution service as part of its product portfolio enables GSK to concentrate on its core competencies while minimizing cost," DKSH Vice President Richard Holloway said in a statement. "Outsourcing is a global trend and will continue to be significant when pharmaceutical companies require expert support along the value chain."

For the Swiss-based DKSH, the GSK deal is its third Big Pharma team-up of the year. Last month, the marketing contractor signed on to handle Pfizer's ($PFE) sales, logistics and distribution in Cambodia, and in March, the company inked an agreement with Bayer to cover importation, regulatory clearance and distribution in the Asian nation.

Last year, DKSH's healthcare business grew roughly 27.3%, grossing about $3.9 billion thanks in part to a deal with Sanofi ($SNY) to expand in Laos and an earlier agreement with GSK covering Cambodia.

DKSH said its latest partnership will contribute to further growth for its healthcare business, reaffirming the company's reputation as the ideal partner for drugmakers looking to swell their Asian profits.

- here's the announcement