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Lupin to make India hub, to focus on chemicals

Lupin Laboratories is going ahead with its plans to make India its hub for new drug discovery programme.

business Updated: Dec 22, 2008 20:52 IST
Suprotip Ghosh

Lupin Laboratories is going ahead with its plans to make India its hub for new drug discovery programme. The company will also shift its focus from herbal leads to true chemicals, including small and large molecules and biotechnological drugs.

“The whole focus would be on India,” said Vinita Gupta, president and CEO, Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc. “We are not going to pursue herbal leads other than the ones in the advanced stage. The new ones are going to be true chemical entities. We see significant potential there.”

The move comes as the company prepares itself for a slew of possible legislation in the US to launch cheap biological drugs. The company has hired Raj Kamboj as the new head for its drug discovery unit, who will revamp the whole portfolio.

“Our current plan is to focus on new biological entities and biosimilars,” Gupta said. Lupin has created a dedicated biotechnology cell last year to this end.

The company is following a two-pronged business strategy for the US market. This includes building brands and strengthening its generic portfolio.

The company is also expanding its Suprax franchise and it expects to diversify the drug’s formulations by 2010, when generic competition is expected. Suprax, a branded cheap drug, is now a $30 million brand. It has grown 80 per cent in the first half of this fiscal.