Cipla secures first U.S. manufacturing plant

India's Cipla has secured its first U.S. manufacturing facility, having closed on its deal to buy two related U.S. drug companies. It called the deal its second "landmark acquisition" in its 8 decades of operation.

Mumbai-based Cipla got a 350,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Long Island with its $550 million buyout of InvaGen Pharmaceuticals, a Hauppauge, NY-based generics maker with 32 products on the market and 30 in the pipeline.

It also acquired Exelan Pharmaceuticals, a Lawrenceville, GA, operation that markets and sells InvaGen products into the government and institutional markets. It picked up a combined workforce of 500 employees. It said combined revenues for the two companies last year were $230 million. Cipla currently gets only about 10% of its revenues from the U.S.

Cipla's Umang Vohra

"InvaGen's balanced portfolio, robust manufacturing base and strong R&D capabilities will act as lever to expand Cipla's reach in the US market," Umang Vohra, global chief operating officer of Cipla (EU), said in a statement. Cipla made the acquisition through that U.K.-based subsidiary.

The Indian drugmaker also inherited some FDA concerns over the three-unit InvaGen plant. Several months ahead of the announced deal, the FDA issued the facility a Form 483 for several issues. Since then, FDA concerns have also cropped up at one of Cipla's India plants. The FDA last summer issued a Form 483 to a Cipla plant in Indore. Some of the observations related to a recall of levalbuterol which Cipla voluntarily pulled from the U.S. market after the asthma inhalation drug failed a test for a degradant.

- here's the Cipla release