November 17, 2011 / 7:58 AM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-India's Lupin to buy Japanese drugmaker I'rom Pharma

* I’rom Pharma sales seen at $75 mln in FY12 Vs $69.7 mln last yr

* Japan to contribute 15 pct to Lupin’s sales from 12 pct now

* Continues to look for acquisitions in Brazil, Mexico (Adds quotes, background, details, shares)

By Kaustubh Kulkarni

MUMBAI, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Indian drugmaker Lupin will buy Japan’s I’rom Pharmaceutical Co, its second buy in the country, to enter the generic injectables segment.

The Mumbai-based Lupin had earlier bought Kyowa Pharmaceutical Industry Co in 2007.

I’rom is a Tokyo-based speciality injectables drugmaker with annual sales of 5.36 billion yen ($69.7 million) for year ended March 2011, Lupin said in a statement without disclosing the deal value.

I’rom Pharma, being acquired by Lupin’s unit Kyowa, is a fully-owned subsidiary of I’rom Holdings Co, and has a significant presence in the fixed-rate treatment hospitals segment in Japan, where the government mandates clinics to offer low-cost healthcare services.

“Since the treatment cost at such hospitals is fixed, they are more inclined to use generic products,” Vinod Dhawan, Lupin President for Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Latin America, told Reuters over the telephone.

There are currently over 1,400 fixed-rate treatment hospitals in Japan, which are called DPC hospitals, covering over 35 percent of all the hospital beds in the island nation.

Lupin expects I’rom Pharma sales to touch $75 million in the current financial year ending March 2012, Dhawan said.

“Kyowa makes oral products and with I’rom, we will also enter the injectables,” he said.

The combined sales of Kyowa and I’rom Pharma would reach $230-$240 million in FY12, raising Japan’s contribution to Lupin revenue to 15 percent from 12 percent now, he added.

Other than U.S., Indian drugmakers have been exploring markets like Japan, Russia, South Africa and Latin America to expand presence in generic drugs segment.

The semi-regulated and emerging markets other than India contribute about 20-25 percent of overall sales for Indian drugmakers.

“We continue to look for acquisitions in Latin America region... especially in Brazil and Mexico, but there hasn’t been a success so far,” he said.

Separately, Kyowa has entered into a strategic alliance with I’rom Holdings’ another unit to gain support for clinical trials to be conducted in Japan.

Shares of Lupin, valued $4.02 billion by market, were trading at 444.10 rupees by 1:26 p.m. (0756 GMT), down 2.6 percent in a choppy Mumbai market.

$1 = 76.9 yen Editing by Subhadip Sircar

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