India's Dr. Reddy's widens strategies to move beyond basic generics

Dr. Reddy's CEO G.V. Prasad

India's Dr. Reddy's Laboratories ($RDY) says it is poised to move well beyond its core basic generics business into complex products and biosimilars as it looks to widen its reach globally with a focus on the U.S. market.

In comments to the Financial Express newspaper, company executives went a bit beyond recent public announcements that show the scope for an updated business model.

Earlier this month, Dr. Reddy's said it would seek local regulatory nods to market Amgen's ($AMGN) multiple myeloma drug Kyprolis, immunotherapy Blincyto and PCSK9 inhibitor Repatha in India, the Hyderabad-based company said in a press release, in something of a surprise move by both companies.

In July, the Hyderabad, India-based firm said it would expand in the U.S. and emerging markets this year and for the purpose sported a new look and brand slogan, "Good Health Can't Wait," along with a new logo and corporate color scheme.

But the Financial Express said that with investors concerned over dwindling sales and slower growth at Dr. Reddy's, India's second-biggest drug maker by sales, a more detailed strategy update was highlighted in interviews earlier this month.

The plans include expansion in Europe, investments in new drugs that offer higher margins such as complex generics, biosimilars and proprietary products; and stronger research and development for developing finished dosages, the Financial Express said.

"Around 95% of our business is generics and this will continue for the next few years with the addition of proprietary products in the next three to five years and perhaps biosimilars also," G.V. Prasad, co-chairman and chief executive of Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, told the Financial Express.

Still, the company faces the long task of approvals in the U.S. market and concerns raised by the U.S. FDA on its Srikakulam plant in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, the Financial Express said.

But Prasad said the company has to make a stronger push to retain business and grow in the U.S.

"The U.S. market is so big that there is no equivalent alternative," Prasad told the Financial Express. "We just have to get stronger in the U.S., resolve our issues, build a pipeline and be more innovative to drive growth."

Among those plans are 6 biosimilar products which are yet to be launched, the Financial Express said, with another 5 seen entering clinical development between now and March 2020.

The company also wants to buy or in-license candidates and drugs--though it remains wary of M&A, the Financial Express said, noting the firm recently bought 28 brands from UCB in India in April to expand its footprint in therapy segments such as dermatology, respiratory and pediatrics, while also boosting its domestic revenues.

- here's the story from the Financial Express