Torrent beefs up dermatology manufacturing with Zyg deal

Indian generics manufacturer Torrent Pharmaceuticals has been wanting to get more than skin deep into dermatological meds. And with its buyout of Zyg Pharma it gets more expertise and a manufacturing plant that smooths that move.

Torrent announced Tuesday that it has agreement to pick up Zyg for an undisclosed sum from the Encore Group. Zyg makes a range of dermatological formulations, including creams, ointments, gels, lotions and solutions. Its FDA-approved manufacturing site in Pithampur, Indore, includes development capabilities and a quality control lab.

Torrent says Zyg has not only worked with big players in India but has partnerships with several international companies on products that are being sold bold both in developed and emerging markets. So Torrent figures all those capabilities add up to a big plus as it works to stand out in the dermatologic niche, particularly in the U.S. and Europe.

Dermatology has become a hot area and a number of sizable players have made sizable bets on it. Valeant ($VRX) in particular has grabbed a number of bit players to become significant in the field. It bought Sanofi's ($SNY) Dermik unit, Janssen Pharmaceuticals' skincare business, skin-drug specialist Medicis, boutique skincare company Obagi Medical, and last year, PreCision Dermatology before seeing its roll cut short more recently when its effort to pick up Botox maker Allergan was thwarted by Actavis ($ACT).

But there are some smaller generics players with lots of experience in the manufacturing specialty. G&W Laboratories, a small generic drugmaker in South Plainfield, NJ, already has a background in creams, ointments, gels, topical liquids, and suppositories and sells itself a the place to go for hard-to-source products. It just added plants and products to its portfolios with deals in the last year with Actavis and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ($TEVA). The Actavis deal gave it some backup capacity for the products it already makes and added oral liquids to its mix.

Dermatology is also among the focus areas of India's largest generic drugmaker Sun Pharmaceutical, which just bought out Ranbaxy Laboratories to beef up its market share in the U.S.

- here's the release

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