India's Torrent completes deal to buy family-run Zyg Pharma, gets FDA plant

India's Torrent Pharmaceuticals completed the purchase of family-run Zyg Pharma, enhancing expansion plans abroad to the U.S., Europe and Oceania with a new product line in dermatology, DNA India reports.

The deal gives the firm access to a manufacturing facility approved by the U.S. FDA and the Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia for shipments of product abroad.

In India, the firm said in December last year that it entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Reliance Life Sciences for marketing three biosimilars--Rituximab, Adalimumab and Cetuximab--joining other Gujarat-based firms such as Cadila Healthcare in the domestic biosimilar race in the last few years.

The company did not announce a price for the purchase, but the Times of India said separately the transaction was valued at INR3.5 billion ($56.45 million). DNA India said the deal was funded through internal cash holdings.

In 2013, Torrent bought the struggling domestic business of Elder Pharmaceuticals for $321.7 million for 30 Indian brands spanning treatment categories that include women's healthcare, pain management, wound care and nutraceuticals.

The firm is watched closely in India along with Lupin and Cipla as investors widely expect M&A to heat up between smaller and medium-sized firms and for the same companies to look aggressively abroad.

Earlier this month, Lupin announced it would buy Russian generic drug maker ZAO Biocom, placing it in a turbulent but fast-growing market.

Earlier this year, Torrent also got a boost as one of four winners of U.S. FDA approval for the sale of the first generic versions of Abilify, an antipsychotic from Japan's Otsuka Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) for treating schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

- here's the DNA India story
- more from the Times of India