GSK plans $73M upgrade to Nashik plant in India

GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) plans to invest INR500 million ($73 million) in an upgrade of its manufacturing plant in Nashik northeast of the India financial capital Mumbai to build up output of thyroid and dermatology products, the Business Standard reports.

The move to expand operations comes weeks after a visit by CEO Andrew Witty to India that led to upbeat comments on the fourth-quarter earnings call about prospects there.

GSK CEO Andrew Witty  

As well, in an interview with the Economic Times before the results, Witty said the company "is committed to offering all its new drugs in India affordable prices."

"We see India as a home for GSK," he told the Economic Times. "GSK has established a strong pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare business. It surprises many that about a third of all the pharmaceutical products in the world that we make are sold in India. India is actually our most important market by volumes. With that said, GSK has a deep commitment to make available in India all the technologies at an affordable price."

In September, GSK started work on a new plant to make to make gastroenterology drugs and anti-inflammatories in India near the southern city of Bangalore with investment estimated at $153 million. The plant will have the capacity to make 8 billion tablets and 1 billion capsules a year.

"The plant in Bengaluru (Bangalore) will be ready by 2017-end and will have a capacity for eight billion tablets and a billion capsules annually. The construction is being funded through internal accruals," GSK Pharma's managing director, A. Vaideesh, told the Business Standard this week.

"Anti-infective drugs, gastrointestinal products are growing areas for us. Our vaccine business too is growing 50%. We are focusing on respiratory and dermatology products," he added, speaking on the sidelines of a "Make in India" event, a government-led effort to boost the manufacturing sector.

GSK now has 6 manufacturing units in India.

- here's the story in the Business Standard