Ranbaxy Laboratories has acquired 13 brands of skin care products from the US pharmaceuticals major Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS). These brands include medication for acne, dermatitis, psoriasis, fungal infections and scabies.
The products have a cumulative market of $15 million, according to sources tracking the industry. The U.S. dermatology market is valued at $10 billion and is growing at 10 per cent per annum.
Analysts feel that the final value of the acquisition would be determined by how the company plays the market. “The size of the brands is small in comparison, and Ranbaxy’s dermatology portfolio is not a significant contributor to the top line of the company,” said an analyst on condition of anonymity.
The brands were patented brands of BMS whose patents have expired. They are now available at a lower cost than patented drugs, though not as low as generic or cheap drugs that have competition from other companies. Such medicines are known as branded generic drugs.
Ranbaxy expects the drugs to augment their portfolio in the skin care, or dermatology segment. Revenues from this segment are small, and not much change is expected from the brands for the coming two to three years.
However, the brands are ‘highly regarded products’ and ‘have been present in the market for over 10 years’ according to a release by the company.
Ranbaxy already has a presence in the acne segment of the dermatology market with its product Sotret, for the treatment of severe difficult-to-cure nodular acne. Sotret is the largest selling brand among the Isotretinoin brands with a market share in excess of 36 per cent, claims the company quoting IMS: MAT - December 2006.
"These products collectively create opportunities that can be effectively leveraged through our current franchise established through Sotret. This business opportunity also creates a broader platform for the introduction of value-added line extensions and additional brands as our involvement and commitment to dermatology expands. It underscores our strategy of pursuing inorganic growth opportunities to complement internal growth," said Venkat Krishnan, vice-president and regional director for Ranbaxy in North America.