No plans to make vaccine as it requires separate infrastructure: Sun Pharma
According to a top company official, Sun Pharma has no immediate plans to enter vaccine production as getting into the vertical would require a completely different manufacturing set-up.
The Mumbai-based company, which is strong in various generic therapeutic segments, is eyeing biosimilars to fuel its future growth.
“I think our preliminary assessment indicates that the vaccines will require a dedicated manufacturing facility and may not be produced in that facility,” Dilip Shanghvi, managing director of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, said in a call with analysts. Where we are making many other products.
The billionaire industrialist said that in order to get into vaccine production, a completely new set of manufacturing infrastructure is needed.
So, broadly this is our understanding. So, we don’t currently have any facilities that we are looking at to make vaccines, Sanghvi said.
On the biosimilar front, he said the pharmaceutical firm is looking to develop a range of such products.
We are evaluating the development of certain biosimilars that can be classified into the third wave of biosimilars, Shanghvi clarified, adding that the company is looking at a 2030-like timeline for such products to hit the market.
A biosimilar is a product that is similar to another previously approved biologic drug.
Shanghvi said the company is looking at products that have significant patent expiration dates in the future so that it can be one of the first firms to get early approval.
That is the focus and priority. And that’s not the only thing, there are several priorities, and (we) are trying to find a way that we can leverage our presence in the market so that we can successfully build a biosimilar portfolio.
He added that the development of the biosimilar would not be a ‘big drain’ on the company’s cash flow and profitability.
Commenting on the US business, he said the drug firm’s current generic pipeline for the US market includes 94 abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) and nine new drug applications (NDAs), which are awaiting approval from the US FDA.
In 2020-21, the company launched about 18 new products in the US.
On the business outlook, Sanghvi said: Given the uncertainties of the pandemic in the near term, we are refraining from giving guidance for FY12. However, all our businesses are in good standing and our endeavor will be to grow the business, despite the uncertainties of the near future related to COVID-19.
The pharmaceutical firm’s revenue from operations stood at Rs 33,498 crore in 2020-21.
Commenting on the company’s Halol plant, which has been on the USFDA’s radar for the past few years, Sanghvi said the drug firm is waiting for the regulator to inspect the facility.
We have demanded an inquiry. Now, I guess it’s up to them to inspect the facility. And hopefully this time we will be able to accomplish it successfully, that is the focus, he said.
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