Piramal to invest $1.5B in ex-India pharma

Piramal's generics excitement in India was only the first step in becoming a "major player" in global pharma. Chairman Ajay Piramal, fresh off a $650 million investment in Vodafone, now says he intends to grow his company's life sciences business by investing at least $1.5 billion in biotech acquisitions and Big Pharma joint ventures.

Piramal said he's mainly interested in expanding in the U.S. and Europe, where he's already been in talks with some major companies, the Financial Times reports. The first major deal should be announced within 6 to 12 months, he said, refusing to identify any of the drugmakers involved.

The company has one marketed product, Tinefcon, a plant-based remedy for psoriasis that's been approved as a drug in India and sold as an herbal supplement elsewhere. It has some 14 other compounds in development. "We are looking to invest $1.5 billion in biotech companies that don't have enough money to expand," Piramal told the FT. "We do not want to become an Indian drugs outsourcer ... we want to become a major player."

- read the FT piece