Dishman targets India’s booming oncology market

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pharmaceutical drug

India’s Dishman Pharmaceuticals is eyeing up the lucrative oncology market to further its development as one of the region's major CRAM firms, according to company managing director Rajnikant Vyas.

During an interview with the country’s CNBC-TV18 channel Vyas said that the contract research and manufacturing (CRAM) group plans to set up one of Asia’s largest oncology units on behalf of its Carbogen Amcis subsidiary.

He commented that Dishman plans to develop Switzerland-based Carbogen, which was purchased in August 2006, as a full service oncology unit with its own research and development centre and contract manufacturing capacity.

The increasing prevalence of cancer in developing economies has seen the demand for treatments skyrocket. A 2007 study published in The Lancet​ predicted that cancer rates in Asia may increase by as much as 60 per cent to 7.1m cases by 2020.

It is this considerable market that Carbogen’s new cancer unit, which will be located in Bavla in the Indian state of Gujarat, will seek to supply when it becomes operational in the 2009-10 financial year.

API supply contracts worth $200m

Vyas also said Dishman’s CRAM portfolio is likely to expand as major pharmaceutical firms continue to outsource active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing operations, citing Solvay, to which it already supplies APIs and bulk intermediates, and AstraZeneca and Merck as examples of potential clients.

He went on to say that Dishman is currently discussing API deals worth a potential $200m (€137m). Such comments are in keeping with recent media speculation that Dishman is close to signing a series of major supply contracts.

Vyas also said that the current difficulties being experienced by India’s drug industry connected to the increasing price of APIs and intermediates sourced from China will provide its CRAM operations with significant growth opportunities.

In addition, Vyas commented that: “many of our multinational partners want us to put up formulation units in India to cater to the Asia-Pacific market​.” He added that Dishman is in talks with three such firms about setting up dedicated formulation and manufacturing operations.

Vyas concluded by saying that Dishman is bullish about its growth prospects and forecast that the firm would achieve a minimum expansion rate of 30 per cent over the next two to three years.

Related topics: Contract Manufacturing & Logistics

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