Amneal said to be negotiating to buy Indian sterile injectable manufacturer

Last week, drugmaker Hikma struck a deal to buy some of the sterile injectable assets of a Boehringer Ingelheim unit to expand in that growing part of the industry. Now, U.S.-based Amneal Pharmaceuticals is looking to India for a chance to exploit that niche of the market.

Sources tell India's Business Standard that the Bridgewater, NJ, company is negotiating a deal to buy cancer drugmaker Epsilon Pharmaceuticals to expand its manufacturing capabilities in sterile injectable drugs. The deal, which might run 80 to 100 crore ($13.5 million to $16.9 million), includes an FDA-approved manufacturing plant there. Neither company would comment.

The company's website says that Epsilon, which was formed in 1998, has a 20,000-square-meter (215,000-square-foot) plant near Hyderabad that makes sterile injectable cancer drugs. It has the capacity to make 5 million lyophilised vials and up to 10 million liquid-filled sterile vials a year and two filling lines.

Amneal, which was established by Chintu Patel and Chirag Patel in 2002, has an R&D center in Gujarat, India. In 2012, the company invested about $50 million to quadruple its manufacturing facility on Long Island from 121,000 square feet to 443,000 square feet. The project, which got about $3 million in public assistance, was slated to add 400 jobs.

The sterile injectable segment of the industry is growing, and a number of generics makers have been buying or expanding manufacturing to tap that growth. Jordan-based Hikma will pay up to $300 million to Boehringer Ingelheim's Ben Venue Laboratories group to buy assets of Bedford Laboratories, its generic injectable drug unit. It also has an agreement to potentially buy the Ben Venue plant in Bedford, OH, that Boehringer Ingelheim closed at the end of last year after years of FDA issues. Mylan ($MYL) last year paid $1.75 billion to buy Agila Specialties, the sterile injectable business of India's Strides Arcolab.

- read the Business Standard story
- get more from DealCurry