LIVE FROM CPhI – Piramal seeks expansion

Through acquisition and additional facilities

India’s Piramal Healthcare is seeking growth following the sale of its Healthcare Solutions business (Domestic Formulations) to Abbott Laboratories in May, which netted the company an up-front payment of US$2.12bn, plus $400m annually for the next four years.

Speaking at CPhI, Gerhard Klement, director of Piramal Pharma Solutions, who heads the contract development and manufacturing arm of Piramal Healthcare, said the move would ‘help to fund and accelerate continuing expansion of our Pharma Solutions business'.

Although not specific, Klement said the company was looking at acquisitions in ‘various areas’, including ‘add-on businesses, new facilities and new areas’, which could include biologics. ‘The money stays with the company and we will invest in the healthcare business,’ he said. ‘We have an acquisition strategy and investment plan.’

According to Klement, better times for the contract manufacturing sector are significantly closer this year. 'Against the background of major business and product cost challenges for big pharma, 2009/10 were tough for pharmaceutical outsourcing, but since this spring we’ve been seeing clear signs of recovery,’ he said.

Since the last CPhI, Piramal’s site in Morpeth, UK has seen further long-term manufacturing contract renewals by Pfizer. Demand is also said to be strong at the company’s Biocatalysis Division, which relocated to new labs last year in Wilton, UK.

Also in the UK, Scotland’s Grangemouth facility has secured a contract from an antibody-drug conjugates (ADC) business. The company is also close to commissioning one of its manufacturing sites to accommodate commercial scale ADC manufacture, which supports next year’s launch of a new anti-cancer drug by a US biotechnology company.

‘At Grangemouth we are working on three of the four most significant antibody-drug conjugates platforms and therefore with 11 of the top 19 large biotech companies,’ Klement said.

Piramal Pharma Solutions, the contract development and manufacturing arm of Piramal Healthcare, has annual revenues of US$190m.

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