Neopharma snaps up Lupin's sterile injectables business in Japan

Neopharma plant in Japan
Neopharma, which bought this plant in Japan in 2017 to make a diabetes treatment, has now agreed to pay an undisclosed amount to buy Lupin's Japanese sterile injectables business. (Neopharma)

Neopharma, which has been buying and building plants for several years, is at it again. The United Arab Emirates-based drugmaker is buying a sterile injectables plant and drugs in Japan from India’s Lupin.

Lupin announced the deal today, saying that it was selling the facility and assets held through its Japanese subsidiary Kyowa. Details were few, but the plant is based in Atsugi, Japan, and does contract work as well as sell its own products. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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Lupin, which has been in Japan since 2007, said the sale will not affect the rest of its Japanese business focused on developing, manufacturing and marketing solid dose drugs as well as some other dosage forms.

“The divestiture of our injectables business in Japan is a step towards streamlining our Japan operations and bringing sharper focus on building a hybrid brand and generics pharma model in Japan,” Lupin’s Asia-Pacific President Fabrice Egros said in a statement. 

The deal also comes as FDA concerns over Lupin's manufacturing methods have been piling up. Earlier this year, the agency laid out in an action letter big problems it found in the Indian drugmaker's sterile injectables plant in Mandideep. This followed other issues in recent years.

RELATED: UAE’s Neopharma and ASKA of Japan to build drug plant in India in $53M JV

As for Abu Dhabi-based Neopharma, it has been building its presence in Japan for several years. In 2017, it agreed to pay about $240 million for a 65% stake in Japan’s Cosmo ALA, getting the rights to develop a dietary supplement to decrease glucose levels in patients with Type 2 diabetes. It then bought and invested in a plant there to make the supplement. 

Also in 2017, it formed a joint venture with Japan’s Aska Pharmaceutical with plans to build a $53 million plant in Visakhapatnam, India, to produce oral solid dosage forms, oral liquids and topical preparations for the Indian market. The facility is slated to be complete in 2020. 

Last year, the drugmaker committed to investing $100 million to build a plant in Abu Dhabi.