The supply on the Hepatitis C drug to Vertex by Shasun Chemicals is set to take off earlier than anticipated. "Commercial supplies have already started and this year we are preparing for the launch," says Vimal Kumar, Managing Director of Shasun Chemicals, in an exclusive interview with CNBC-TV18.
The supply of the Hepatitis C drug to Vertex by Shasun Chemicals is set to take off earlier than anticipated. The product is set to launch in June-July next year. "Commercial supplies have already started and we are preparing for the launch this year," says Vimal Kumar, Managing Director of Shasun Chemicals, in an exclusive interview with CNBC-TV18's Udayan Mukherjee and Mitali Mukherjee.
Below is a verbatim transcript of the interview. Also watch the accompanying video.
Q: The markets expecting that your supplies of Hepatitis C to Vertex will begin very soon. By when can you assure your investors that those supplies will kick off?
A: I cannot give details. But yes, one of the products is in Phase III, the regulatory approvals are expected to be in place by April-May and the launch to set to happen somewhere in June-July next year. Commercial supplies have already started and this year, we are preparing for the launch.
Q: Can you give us a sense of how much things could get preponed, considering the developments that have already occurred?
A: Commercial supplies have already started. Our UK subsidiary Shasun Pharma Solutions should do a topline of about 39 million pounds which is up from 32 million pound. Overall sales would grow by almost 25% over in the UK.
Q: Just with specific reference to the deal with Vertex, the estimates are that the revenues could stand to generate USD 50 to 60 million and that could actually go all the way up to USD 1 billion plus. Is that your target as well?
A: I cannot divulge the name of the company that you are referring to. However, what the market knows is that it is with one of the emerging pharma companies. Also, the deal is to supply one of the key products - API, on contract basis to them and the product is going to be launched next year. The product is expected to generate USD 1 billion.
Q: Is there any other out licensing deal that you are working on which might get announced over the next month or two? You talking to a US based company for some outsourcing deal without mentioning names; can you confirm if something like that is on the anvil?
A: In the CRAMS model, what we have been following, there are various projects we are working on. There are about six other projects which are in Phase III. There are two which are likely to go onstream, maybe, launch somewhere at the end of 2012. One of the products will be to put up the commercial scale size in the next six to eight months in the UK.
Q: There have also been some talks that you could be looking at diluting some stake in favour of financial investors. It may not be a strategic stake sale but some capital raising through a financial stake sale; is that likely or under consideration?
A: No plans as such for now.
Q: Your promoter holding is quite high, in your case more than 46%. Are you planning to either raise money from Shasun or decrease promoter holding?
A: As of today we have no such plans. Definitely, we see value going forward and our company is highly leveraged today, but we are able to manage and we should be able to do so going forward. There are some strategies that we are working on without diluting the stake to raise some funds which are on the way and which we should be able to do successfully.