While most Japanese drugmakers have been cautious post the Daiichi Sankyo’s crisis in Ranbaxy, Eisai Pharma is the only Japanese pharma company that continues to place its bet on the Indian pharma space. The company has consolidated its manufacturing and commercial operations in India and is adopting a multipronged growth strategy.
The company which has been operating a Greenfield manufacturing facility in Vizag and is looking to grow its business in India. The plant currently caters entirely to the Japanese market. However Eisai wants to convert its India facility into a global sourcing hub that will export products to other international markets as well.
Sanjit Lamba, MD & CEO of the company said: We are looking at Vizag as a global supply hub, so we will do not differentiate when we produce for India or other markets. We will be expanding sourcing for other markets.
Currently, the Japanese drug maker has a limited presence in India; it sells 20 drugs, most of which are imported. The company also has marketing alliances with GSK for a gastric disorder drug and with Wockhardt for a neuropathy drug but now eisai wants to scale up in India.
It is company’s plan is to build focus business units in neurology, oncology and multi-specialty therapy areas. They also plan to launch 2 new drugs every year, double the field force to 250 personnel over the next 3 years and, explore strategic brand acquisitions and marketing alliances
Eisai is a late entrant in the highly competitive Indian pharma market. Although it acknowledges the challenges around pricing, IP protection and cost structures, the company believes its focused manufacturing strategy will help it catch up with competition fairly quickly.
Below is the interview transcript of Sanjit Singh Lamba s interview with CNBC-TV18 s Archana Shukla.
Q: What would you focus on now?
A: We want to remain focusedon two therapy areas, neurology and oncology. We are building our portfolios in such a way so that we become a niche organisation into these two therapy areas.
With neurology we already have presence with Aricept and also products like Zonegran. So, we are looking at one product in neurology and one product in oncology immediately.
We have a very healthy research pipeline including oncology and neurology products. So, we would be looking at launching these products in India over a period of time.
Q: Mostly exporting from Vizag facility, what is the plan going forward? Are you looking for production more for domestic purposes now?
A: We would look at the manufacturing facility in Vizag as a global supply hub which can meet the requirements of patients worldwide. We do not differentiate whether we are manufacturing for Japan or US or areas in South East Asian market or India. We have already started manufacturing for Indian market. We have a product Aricept which is being manufactured in Vizag. We have other product which is Urief which under urology segment which is right now manufactured at Vizag.
We are looking at expanding this to other products in future where we can leverage our strengths of Vizag for India business. Other plan is we are looking at expanding our capacity both in API as well as the finished dose.