Sun gets dermatology portfolio, 2 plants in Japan with Pola Pharma deal

Sun Pharma is getting a wrinkle shot in its deal to buy a Japanese dermatology drug maker. (Pola)

Sun Pharma got a start in Japan when it paid Novartis nearly $300 million a couple of years ago for more than a dozen drugs the Swiss drugmaker was unloading. Now it is picking up two manufacturing plants and a portfolio of dermatology products there for just $1 million.

The Indian drugmaker said on Monday that it has struck a deal with Pola Orbis Group to buy Pola Pharma, getting two plants in Saitama that can manufacture topical products and injectables, including Pola’s injectable wrinkle product. It also has R&D capabilities to develop new technologies and formulations, Sun said. The transaction is expected to close on or before Jan. 31, 2019.

“This acquisition is in line with our strategy to strengthen our global dermatology presence. Pola Pharma is a leading dermatology company and it will help us to launch our speciality and generic dermatology products in the Japanese market in future,” Kirti Ganorkar, executive VP of Sun Pharma, said in a statement. “We also get access to local manufacturing capability enabling us to serve the Japanese pharmaceutical market more effectively.”

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Pola Pharma is on the microsize of the business, producing only about $108 million in revenue and a net loss of $7 million for the 12 months ended December 2017. Sun said the deal will get it a 100% stake in Pola on a debt-free basis for about $1 million.

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But the Indian drugmaker likes its prospects after it “forayed into the Japanese prescription market in 2016” when it bought 14 established prescription brands from Novartis for $293 million. Those drugs spanned a number of therapeutic areas and produced annual sales of about $160 million.