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Piramal on the lookout for EU and US CMO acquisitions

By Gareth Macdonald , 09-Oct-2012
Last updated on 31-Oct-2012 at 12:06 GMT2012-10-31T12:06:41Z

Piramal wants to buy in the CMO space

Indian contractor Piramal Healthcare is on the lookout for acquisitions in the US and Europe that will expand its CRAMS business.

The plan – outlined at a pharmaceutical industry conference in Madrid, Spain this week – is part of the Mumbai firm’s long-term effort to become a top five contract research and manufacturing services (CRAMS) company in the next five years.

Piramal’s strategy is based on its contention capacity in the services market does not match the limited partnering model that has become increasingly popular among pharmaceutical industry customers as COO Vijay Shah explained.

“The market remains fragmented, and with big pharma customers looking to focus on just a few CRAMS partners, consolidation across surplus capacity will accompany the trend of overall growth.”

But while it believes the fragmented market provides acquisition opportunities, Piramal stressed that any deals it does strike will be more about expanding its technical capabilities than about adding capacity. 

The firm said it is interested in formulation technologies, particularly those used in early-phase R&D, reasoning that larger pharmaceutical companies that need to restock dwindling pipelines will seek this type of service.

Piramal also revealed that it has already started assessing six potential contract manufacturing acquisitions in Europe and the US some of which are still being discussed.

European Launch

In other news, Piramal is about to launch its first product in Europe according to a report in the Hindu Business Line.

According to company vice-chairperson Swati Piramal the firm is poised to roll out an othopaedic injection product that stimulates the regeneration of cartilage by acting as a matrix that enables cells to grow.

She told the publication that: “Earlier, we were focused only on the Indian industry but our ambitions are now global. But drug discovery is complex and time consuming. It has taken us 10 years of research to get here.”

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