Lupin gets first U.S. manufacturing base with buyout of GAVIS

Courtesy of GAVIS

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.

The all-cash deal is for GAVIS Pharmaceutical, which was founded by Veerappan Subramanian and has been producing products since 2009. It has a 45,000-square-foot manufacturing and R&D operation in Somerset, NJ, and 124,000 square feet of packaging and distribution operations. The company has another 105,000 square feet of newly constructed manufacturing space coming online by the end of 2015. Lupin will be taking on GAVIS' 250 employees.

Lupin CEO Vinita Gupta

"This is a pivotal acquisition for Lupin as it aligns with our goal to expand and deepen our US presence," Lupin CEO Vinita Gupta said in statement.

Lupin has said it wants to release 15 to 20 new products in the U.S. this year, and this deal will go a ways toward doing that. Together, the companies will have 101 products in the market and another 164 pending approval, as well as a pipeline of more to come. GAVIS, which had $96 million in sales last year, has 66 ANDA filings pending approval with the FDA and another 65 in development. Lupin said that 72% of the filings are of niche dosage forms.

While Lupin is shooting to expand its U.S. drug production, it has stumbled some on the manufacturing side. Lupin in February said its plant in Pithampur that makes contraceptives and eye drugs for the U.S. had gotten FDA approval to produce a generic version of Allergan's ($AGN) Lumigan 0.03%, an ophthalmic solution. But that announcement also came with the disclosure that an inspection of the plant had resulted in 6 observations. Last year it had to recall 10,000 bottles of its Suprax antibiotic in the U.S. The pills fell short of standards for purity.

- here's the announcement