Granules eyes organic, inorganic growth


Hyderabad: Granules India, a Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company and the largest paracetamol supplier in the world, is going to invest in new molecules and manufacturing units, besides exploring opportunities in oncology and other therapeutic categories. The company is actively looking for organic and inorganic growth, with possibilities of backward integration.

There are also talks for possible joint ventures to bring certain synergies together with potential partners, particularly in the US, across R&D, manufacturing and marketing of products, a top official said.

Priyanka Chigurupati, ED, Granules Pharmaceuticals Inc & Granules India told Telangana Today, “Our current asset capability presents us an opportunity to cater to heavily-regulated markets such as the US and Europe, which require heavy investment. Our focus is on the US, Europe and Latin American markets. However, in 3-4 years, we will shift at least 7-10 of the US business to Europe and Latin America.”

While non-US markets accounted for 49 per cent of the core business in FY20, this is going to reach 50 per cent this fiscal and 57 per cent by FY23. When asked about impact of Covid on production, she said, “Despite Covid pandemic, we recorded the highest output ever in the history of the company in Q1FY21 both in India and the US. We altered our shift system, which helped us achieve high productivity.”

Building capacities

Granules India is investing Rs 400 crore to set up a manufacturing facility in Telangana by FY24-25 with a capacity to manufacture 10 billion units of finished dosages. The proposed unit will generate 1,600 jobs. The company already operates the world’s largest commercial Pharmaceutical Formulation Intermediates facility at Hyderabad. In total, the company has six facilities, globally.

Going forward, the company is looking to invest Rs 240 crore in multi-unit pellet system technology (MUPS) to be funded entirely through internal accruals. The MUPS block will have a capacity to make 2.5-5 billion units of finished dosages per annum when it gets operational in Q3FY22.

Granules India has presence across the entire pharmaceutical manufacturing value chain from active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) to finished dosages. Revenues from finished dosages went up from 32 per cent to 52 per cent in the last five years.

Core markets

In the US generics space, the company is focusing on developing controlled substances and niche/differentiated modified and extended release products in varied dosage forms.
She said, “Today about 70-80 per cent of our revenues come from overseas markets. US, Europe and Latin America form the bulk of our revenues while India contributes around 20 per cent of our revenues, primarily through bulk drugs, and we don’t have any branded formulations business in the country.”

Product pipeline

“The company has filed 45 ANDAs (abbreviated new drug applications) of which 32 are approved. This fiscal, the company has launched three products already and will be launching three more. Next fiscal, we will be launching 7-8 products in the US and 2-3 products in Europe,” she added.

Chigurupati who drives strategic business for the US, Europe as well as the Indian market, said, Granules is building a strong product pipeline.

R&D focus

The company is focusing on improving operational efficiencies and process innovation through R&D. The company plans to spend 70 per cent in core business (Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Metformin, Methocarbamol and Guaifenesin) and emerging businesses (Losartan, Cetirizine and Fexofenadine) while the remaining 30 per cent will go into products developed at Granules Pharmaceuticals Inc.

She informed, “In the US and India, there are 180 people in formulation R&D, and 200 in API R&D. We will be strengthening analytical labs in future, in addition to technical services and process R&D for the selected molecules.”

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