Mumbai: Four years after its acquisition of India’s Matrix Laboratories Ltd, US-based generic drug maker Mylan Inc. has formalized plans for a direct entry into the South Asian nation and seeks to become a top 10 company in the country’s Rs60,000 crore market in the next two-three years.
The company also said that the Matrix subsidiary will be renamed Mylan.
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“This rebranding will lay the groundwork for continued expansion in India through our entry into the Indian commercial market with our own prescription pharmaceuticals within the next 12 months,” Mylan chairman and chief executive Robert J. Coury told reporters in Mumbai on Friday.
As a part of the India growth strategy, Mylan will also look at opportunities for local acquisitions and collaborating with Indian companies for country-specific products and market reach, apart from establishing a large field force and sales infrastructure on its own, Coury said separately in an interview.
Mylan is the latest among large multinational drug makers that have entered the Indian market in the past three-four years as a part of an emerging market focus. Some large firms such as Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd of Japan, and Abbott Laboratories and Mylan of the US acquired local businesses. Others such as Merck and Co. Inc. and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd established local subsidiaries to tap the market, which is growing at an annual rate of at least 18%.
Mylan acquired a 51% stake in Matrix, currently one of the world’s key suppliers of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), for $736 million (around Rs3,330 crore today) in 2006. After purchasing the remaining shares in the company, Mylan delisted Matrix from the Indian stock exchanges in 2009. The US company didn’t make an immediate entry into the local market, using Matrix as an ingredients and finished products supplier for other international markets.
In the past few months, Mylan has been setting up a large sales and marketing team. Mint had in December reported Mylan’s plan to expand into the local market. It was planning to recruit at least 800 sales and marketing professionals initially.
The Indian market is one of the fastest growing among emerging economies, and the world’s top drug companies are keen to enter it as traditional markets are almost saturated.
India’s drug market posted an average 17-18% annual growth in 2010-11, with many local firms exceeding this to touch 20-25%, according to annual results filed by the companies to the stock exchanges. Several multinational drug firms—including GlaxoSmithKline Plc, Pfizer Inc., Sanofi SA and Novartis AG, which have been operating in this market for a long time—expanded their reach and generic products basket to explore opportunities in the country.
Daiichi Sankyo acquired India’s largest drug maker, Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd, in 2008 to enter the market. US-based Abbott Laboratories bought the country’s fifth largest pharma firm, Piramal Healthcare Ltd, last year.
Mylan, which acquired the generic business of German drug giant Merck KGaA in 2008 in a global deal, is currently the largest generic, or off-patent, drug maker in the world. With $5.5 billion in 2010 revenue and a workforce of more than 17,000, Mylan has a presence in at least 150 countries. Since the acquisition, the Matrix workforce has grown from approximately 3,800 to more than 8,500 as of March. In order to support the commercial launch and other growth opportunities in India, the company expects to continue to expand its workforce significantly over the coming years.
The company on Friday said the proposed name change is subject to the approval of the Registrar of Companies. But Mylan is likely to retain the Matrix name for the institutional AIDS drug supply channels serving non-governmental organizations and other alliances.
Founded in 2001, Matrix has a wide range of anti-asthmatic, antibacterial, antifungal and antiretroviral APIs. Matrix also offers a small range of finished dosage-form products, most of which are off-patent AIDS drugs. With locations in India and China, Matrix has more than 900 scientists working on research and development.