Mumbai: Domestic drug maker Lupin Ltd Monday named Jim Loerop as chief corporate development officer to handle its global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) function, apart from other responsibilities.

In a statement, the company said that Loerop will lead Lupin’s overall corporate development efforts and will be responsible for the company’s global M&A and business development functions. “He will integrate Lupin’s business development, licensing and M&A teams to drive the company’s global M&A and business development strategy," the company said.

Loerop, an industry veteran with more than 27 years of experience, joins Lupin from Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where he was a senior vice-president of global business development. Earlier, he has held leadership positions at GlaxoSmithKline Stiefel, KV Pharmaceutical and Curatek Pharmaceuticals. Jim will be based at Naples, Florida in the US.

Loerop’s experience in branded and generic segments will help Lupin as it pursues new growth opportunities, chief executive officer Vinita Gupta said.

In a post earnings conference call on 3 August, Vinita Gupta had said the company’s M&A strategy for the US is primarily focused on the specialty brand side of the business. Earlier in February, Nilesh Gupta, managing director of Lupin had said in an interview with Mint in February that the company is looking for specialty assets in the US in the area of women’s health, pediatrics and neurology.

Pricing pressure due to increased competition has hurt the growth of Indian generic drug makers in the US, forcing them to shift focus to high-value specialty products. The quickest way to build this business is through acquisitions. In 2015, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd appointed Arvind Kumar, a former M&A executive at Reliance Industries Ltd and JSW Steel Ltd to head its acquisitions team. Several Indian pharma companies are looking at overseas acquisitions to boost their products portfolio.

Mint reported in August that Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Aurobindo Pharma Ltd are bidding for European assets of global generics Israeli generic drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, in a deal potentially valued over $1 billion.