India's SeQuent Scientific has been busy over the past 18 months, with an FDA approval of its active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) plant, sale of its specialty chemicals business and acquisition of a stake in Shasun Pharma happening in quick succession. The Bangalore-based business is maintaining the pace and further bolstering its API production business by agreeing to buy Arvee Synthesis.
Arvee fills a gap in SeQuent's supply chain by giving it a 40-acre site in Mysore, India, with capacity to produce intermediates used in the APIs it sells to global drugmakers. The API business is taking off--with SeQuent forecasting a 50% compound annual growth rate in the medium term--and as such the company can ill afford supplier bottlenecks to slow output. Bringing intermediate production under its control should lessen the likelihood of these step becoming a brake on growth.
The Mysore facility has room for further expansion, giving SeQuent the option to add to the quality-control labs and production capacity Arvee uses to supply intermediates and provide custom synthesis services. SeQuent has also given itself the option to expand its FDA-approved API facility in Mangalore by acquiring a 14-acre plot of land next to the plant. The facility--which is also prequalified by the World Health Organization (WHO)--is the cornerstone of SeQuent's API business.
With the FDA chastising the API plants of other Indian manufacturers, notably Ranbaxy and its prospective owner Sun Pharma, an opportunity exists for other players. The list of APIs produced by SeQuent is considerably shorter than those of its better known rivals, but its activities over the past 18 months suggest it is keen to close the gap.
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