India's Lupin has landed its first manufacturing site in the U.S. with an $880 million deal to buy a small generics maker in New Jersey that specializes in niche products including dermatology controlled substances.
Lupin, which has been expanding its manufacturing and marketing footprint internationally via M&A, moved on Brazil in May with the acquisition of generics and OTC maker Medquímica Indústria Farmacêutica. But new markets mean new regulations, and the Indian company has been tripped by some issues that led Brazil to ban some of Lupin's antibiotic products.
While recent problems in Russia's economy have thrown some deals off course, Western drugmakers in the last several years have built or bought production capacity in Russia to tap what has been seen as an important emerging market. India's Lupin jumped into that market, picking up a company that will give it a production toehold there.
Drug companies in India's leading industrial state of Gujarat, the base of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are stepping up efforts to crack the domestic market for biosimilars as well as abroad, Business Standard reports.
India's Cipla and Lupin made first-round bids for the U.S. generics business of Belgium's UCB, Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals, according to sources cited by Bloomberg, showing that domestic players are eagerly looking abroad to boost sales.
After having to call off a $1.5 billion deal last year to sell its U.S.-based generics business, Belgium's UCB has new bidders for the unit that reportedly includes India's Cipla and Lupin.
Belgium's UCB has a generics operation in the U.S. with a 400,000-square-foot-manufacturing facility that it has been trying since last year to unload, and India's Cipla and Lupin are both reportedly in the running to buy it.
Since Lupin issued disappointing earnings reports to the India stock market the past three quarters, it feels the need to go out and buy the sales it needs to please investors. It plans to do so by acquiring enough other companies to add $1 billion to its sales revenues and make Lupin a $5 billion drug maker within three years.
India's Lupin worked a license deal with Romark Laboratories a couple of years ago to handle sales in the U.S. of liquid diarrhea treatment Alina in the U.S., relying on its reps who handle sales of pediatric drugs. But some recent batches of the drug, often prescribed for children, are not up to specification, and so Romark is recalling them.
Continuing to spread its wings, India's Lupin now has a toehold in the Brazil market by buying Medquímica Indústria Farmacêutica, producer of branded, generic and over-the-counter drugs.