Emerging markets, Advair generic the trick as India's Cipla eyes growth

Cipla CEO Subhanu Saxena

Acquisitions that help Cipla grow in emerging markets are on the cards as the Indian drugmaker looks to expand into new geographies, CEO Subhanu Saxena told the Reuters news agency in an interview this week.

The CEO said that the company wants to focus on new emerging markets in Eastern Europe and Latin America, as well as ramp up in the U.S. to 20% of sales by 2020 from around 8% now to keep pace with domestic rivals, Reuters said.

Saxena told Reuters that the U.S. growth plan could also include acquisitions, but at a realistic price.

"We have a lot in our own hands, so we don't have to pay crazy prices," he told Reuters.

In India, Cipla's largest market, sales have been hit by government price controls on drugs, Reuters said, with Saxena hinting that has driven the look abroad.

He also said sales from its respiratory portfolio should more than double by 2020 as the company is on track to launch Seroflo, a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline's ($GSK) Advair inhaler.

The company has already launched Seroflo in 7 countries. But the generic British market is worth $400 million a year, Reuters said.

However, last week Mylan ($MYL) launched its own Advair generic in Britain, but Saxena told Reuters the company had not revised its internal sales forecast for Seroflo.

"It would have been nice to be first, obviously. But we are still pretty much in line with our own timelines," Saxena, who joined Cipla from Switzerland's Novartis ($NVS) in 2012, told Reuters.

- here's the story from Reuters