Cipla aims to reach $1bn India sales through tie-ups

Wednesday, Sep 28, 2016

Cipla, ranked third in the $17-billion Indian pharmaceutical market after Sun Pharma and Abbott, is setting its eyes on reaching a billion dollar sales mark, backed by new drug launches from its own research labs and a slew of partnerships with multinational and Indian drug firms.

On a moving annual total basis, Cipla’s India sales rose 8.6% to Rs 5,033 crore in August, according to the AIOCD PharmaTrac data.

Its market share stood at 4.9% compared to Sun Pharma’s 8.7% and Abbott’s 6.23% during the same period. Umang Vohra, the newly-designated managing director of Cipla, told ET Now that he hoped the India sales to cross a billion dollar “relatively soon.”

Cipla has stepped up launch plans in areas like respiratory, dermatology, cardiovascular and urology, which will help speed up its India growth. Also, several Indian and multinational drug makers have evinced interest in partnering with Cipla, said Vohra, who took over from Subhanu Saxena this month.

He said both Indian and multinational drug makers are approaching Cipla to partner for the India launch of several products. “And so, India will continue to launch 3% to 4% of our sales year-on-year and our volume growth will continue to be upward of 8% to 10%. We are looking at our India growth at 13% to 15% range over a longer time period,” he said. In 2014, Cipla partnered with Merck to sell its HIV drug brand, Isentress, under a different brand name. The same year, Cipla signed a licensing agreement with Gilead, alongside a bunch of other Indian companies, to market Hepatitis C drug sofosbuvir.

An analyst said the plan to reach a billion dollar in India sales in the foreseeable future seems ambitious and may be “uphill”, unless the company signs deals of substantial size, either for brands or companies or enter into strategic joint ventures with other drug makers.

Last year, Cipla changed its reporting structure for sales in the Indian market. It started booking revenues on actual sales against the earlier process, which booked sales at the stage of despatching the product.


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