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Lupin to focus on consolidating US generics business, building specialty portfolio

LiveMint logoLiveMint 07-07-2017 Isha Trivedi

Mumbai: Lupin Ltd’s strategy for its biggest market, the US, revolves around consolidating the generic drugs business and building a portfolio of specialty and branded products, according to the company’s annual report for financial year 2016-17.

As on 31 March, the company’s abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) filed with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stood at 368, of which 154 are yet to receive marketing approval from the regulator.

The market size of the 154 pending generic drug applications is estimated to be about $75 billion, the company said in the report. This includes 14 exclusive opportunities targeting a market size of $2.6 billion.

“We will consolidate on our generics portfolio while focusing on complex generics and specialty products. We expect to rise to this challenge with appropriate acquisitions, calibrated investments in R&D (research and development) supported by the right skill sets. This would enable us to enhance the quality of our business and transcend from the existing paradigm towards new horizons,” said Kamal Sharma, vice chairman of Lupin.

The company’s research on generic drugs is focused on identifying and developing high-entry barrier products with complexities linked with the delivery system, device compatibility and clinical trial requirement.

Simultaneously, Lupin will continue to bolster the oral solids pipeline in view of upcoming patent expiration as well as market needs, thereby providing a balanced mix to the pipeline.

As the business environment in the US has become challenging due to pricing pressure, Lupin, like most leading Indian generic drug makers, is looking to enhance its portfolio of specialty and branded products, which have high value and margins but are difficult to make.

The company already has a basket of about five branded products in the US market. To further penetrate in this segment, Lupin has created two sets of sales force, one pharma sales focussing on Antara and Suprax brands and the other, specialty hospital sales force, focussing on promotion of Methergine, used for the preventing excess blood loss after delivery, in the women’s healthcare space.

In 2016-17, Lupin’s sales in the US market were $1.2 billion, contributing 48% to the overall sales.

On Friday, shares of Lupin closed up 3.3% at Rs1,116.75 on the BSE, while the benchmark Sensex index ended almost flat at 31,360.63 points.

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