Granules India and Ajinomoto OmniChem create jv in India

Granules OmniChem will operate an API and intermediates facility in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh

Krishna Prasad, md, Granules India and Gwin Bompas, md, Ajinomoto OmniChem, shake hands on the new joint venture in Andhra Prasad, India

Belgian chemicals company Ajinomoto OmniChem and Indian pharmaceuticals manufacturer Granules India have formed a 50:50 joint venture to produce active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and intermediates for third parties.

The new company, Granules-OmniChem, will build a US$20m plant in the Pharmacity SEZ zone in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, initially to manufacture high-value, low-volume APIs and intermediates.

Construction of the facility will start in November and should be completed towards the end of 2012.

The jv aims to capitalise on demand from pharmaceutical firms which are outsourcing their manufacturing needs at a time when the industry is focused on the US$234bn generics market. More than 80% of API production is for the generics market.

Granules-Omnichem will focus on producing APIs and intermediates for existing customers of both partners and in the future manufacture new chemical entities.

‘Our shareholders will benefit since this will enable Granules to diversify its business by offering high value APIs and intermediates which will increase our profitability,’ said Krishna Prasad, managing director of Granules.

Gwin Bompas, managing director of Ajinomoto OmniChem, which employs around 700 people at three sites in Belgium, said the jv would enable the firm to ‘offer access to quality medicine at an affordable price for the market’.

Granules India manufactures finished dosage forms, pharmaceutical intermediates and APIs, which are distributed in more than 50 countries.

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