Zydus Cadila said to be buying Claris' sterile injectables biz as landscape morphs

Sterile injectables manufacturing is a hot growth area, but the drugs are tricky to manufacture, so many drugmakers are buying the expertise instead of trying to develop it. Earlier this week, Endo ($ENDP) said it would lay out $8 billion for Par Pharmaceuticals to get its hands on that company's sterile injectables biz. Now another deal is brewing in India for Claris Lifesciences operations in that part of the market.

For more than two years, India's reports have circulated that Claris was shopping its sterile injectables business and that any number of big companies might be sizing it up. The latest indication is that it will be acquired by another Indian company, Zydus Cadila. The announcement of a deal is expected within a month, sources tell the Economic Times, and Zydus is expected to pay up to 3,400 crore ($565 million).

Several years ago, analysts were speculating on the chances of Pfizer ($PFE) or Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ($TEVA) buying the Claris sterile injectables operations, but both of those companies have since found other ways to try to bolster their sterile injectables credentials.

Pfizer this year agreed to a $15 billion buyout of the much larger sterile injectables company, Hospira ($HSP). Teva has a $40 billion deal on the table to buy Mylan ($MYL), which a couple of years ago broadened its own sterile injectable biz with the $1.75 billion pickup of the unit of India's Strides Arcolab that made injectable drugs.

Par Pharmaceuticals last year laid out $490 million to pick up JHP Pharmaceuticals, a specialist in manufacturing sterile injectable drugs. That expertise was a big part of the attraction for Endo this week to agree to an $8 billion acquisition of Par.

- read the Economic Times story