New player in Indian API supply

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Related tags: Food and drug administration, Pharmacology, Roche, India

India's Dishman Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals has set up a company
specialising in the contract manufacture of active pharmaceutical
ingredients (APIs) and intermediates that is specifically aimed at
winning business from foreign multinational companies (MNCs).

The Ahmedabad-based concern has completed an initial public offering and plans to use the proceeds to set up the facility, as well as an R&D centre.

The long-term plan is to tie-up with multinationals to manufacture in-patent compounds, but in the short-term the company will follow the more usual model of concentrating on supplying the generics sector, the growth of which is actually outstripping the prescription API market at present.

Research on the bulk pharmaceutical actives market, published by Business Communications, suggests that the market for generic APIs is growing at a rate of around 11.7 per cent and should reach $3.7 billion in 2005. In contrast, the market bulk APIs for branded prescription drugs should reach around $66.6 billion in 2005, growing at around 9 per cent a year.

Dishman's ambition to become a supplier to MNCs sits well with comments recently made by Roche, which says it plans to make India one of its major sources for APIs and bulk intermediates.

In an interview with India's Economic Times​, Kurt Kopp, head of global strategic procurement at Roche, said the company intends to almost double its material procurement from India to SFR 5 million (€3.2m).

Roche recently completed a pilot project in which it forged an alliance with an Indian company for the custom synthesis of an intermediate for a product that is currently under development.

"The experiment was successful, so we are looking to strengthen this type of alliance,"​ said Kopp.

This is part of a continuing effort by Roche to expand its activities in India. A few months ago, Roche Scientific (India), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Swiss company, announced that it plans to invest about SFR 10 million in the country.

During the first half year ended September 2003, Dishman derived 38 per cent of its revenues from APIs, 27 per cent from bulk drugs and intermediates and the rest from contract research and manufacturing. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will soon inspect the firm's manufacturing facilities, and if these pass it aims to tap the US market for generics.

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