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Last Updated : Mar 29, 2012 02:17 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Lupin sees 20-25% growth in US business in FY13

Pharma major Lupin expects its US business will grow 20-25% in fiscal 2012-13 (April-March), helped by a strong pipeline of generic drugs.

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Pharma major Lupin expects its US business will grow 20-25% in fiscal 2012-13 (April-March), helped by a strong pipeline of generic drugs.

The (product) pipeline for US is very rich and fiscal 2013 could be a strong year for the company, its chief financial officer S Ramesh told CNBC-TV18 on Thursday.

Lupin has over 100 products that will be launched in the US market over the next three years, he said.

The company is also expecting over 20% growth in its India operations, he said.

Lupin on Thursday launched its copy of AstraZeneca's blockbuster Seroquel tablets. The drug (generic name Quetiapine Fumarate) is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and had sales of USD 4.6 billion in the US market for year ended December 2011.

But Lupin is unlikely to get a big sales boost, as several other companies including multinationals like Teva and domestic rivals like Dr Reddy's and Sun Pharma have also launched the drug at the same time.

In fact, Ramesh expects Seroquel price will erode rapidly as intensity of competition for the drug is very high.

Also Read: Dr Reddy's, Sun, Lupin get nod to launch schizophrenia drug

Meanwhile, the comany will urge the government to reconsider pharma pricing issue. Any price control could be a dampner for the industry, he said.

Government's National Pharma Pricing Policy has proposed to cap retail prices of essential medicines on the basis of top three brands in the segment.

Read on for CNBC-TV18's full interview with the management..


Below is an edited transcript of his interview with Latha Venkatesh and Ekta Batra. Also watch the accompanying video.

Q: Lots of domestic pharmaceutical companies received approvals for the antipsychotic drug Seroquel yesterday. Take us through what the potential is diluted to in terms of price erosion at this point in time and how many players are already in the market?

A: It is a pretty large drug, about USD 3.2 billion in terms of overall sales, but that said there are quite a few competitors already in the market. We have Teva as well as Sandoz amongst international players and from Indian stable we already have DRL, Lupin and Sun Pharmaceuticals. So given the intensity of the competition, you could expect the price to erode pretty rapidly.

Q: Nevertheless, what can you expect by way of gains in FY13 from the launch of this drug?

A: That remains to be seen because it is it still early days. If you look at our own track record, we have got market share between 25% and 45% in lot of our drugs. So it is possible that you would get a pretty good market share for this drug as well. But that said, the intensity of competition for this particular drug is particularly high.

Q: We understand that you have Combivir generic which basically starts in May 2012 and Geodon which was expected or the generic version of it which was expected in March 2012. Give us a sense of what these approvals are doing for you, whether they have come through, what the launch date is, etc and the potential from the US market in FY13?

A: We believe that FY13 could be a pretty good one for us. If you look at our overall pipeline, we have got close to about 160 submissions and close to 100 products to be launched over the next couple of years. So we believe that at least 25-30 products will get launched next year.

Some of these are important products like perhaps could be Combivir and a host of other products as well. We could potentially be getting a lot of approvals on the overall contraceptive front also, so we believe that the overall growth rate in America is poised to be sustained for the next year and perhaps for the next couple of years also.

Q: You have been beating industry levels in terms of domestic sales, but what does FY13 look like in terms of domestic sales growth?

A: If we look at the first nine months of the current year, we have done particularly well. Our growth rate was well over 20%, and the last quarter we clocked about 27%, this includes Eli Lilly sales as well. So we believe that Q4 also obviously would be pretty decent for us.

If you look at the five year CAGR for our domestic business, we have clocked over 20-22%, so we have been pretty consistent at that. We believe in FY13 as well, we would sustain pretty decent growth rates.

Q: Give us a sense of how exactly Suprax  and Antara is doing at this point in time and whether you could throw some light on when exactly you could possibly launch AllerNaze?

A: Our branded portfolio has done particularly well in the first nine months. Suprax has grown pretty decently and we are sustaining the growth by introducing newer versions, so we have been looking at drops perhaps in FY13. That said we also have couple of other products AeroChambers and Antara.

AllerNaze is something which has been delayed because of the packaging problems that we had. We believe by the end of next fiscal we would be positioned to launch AllerNaze as well. But that said, we are also looking at the host of other products but it is too early days to talk about that.

Q: Can you give us some indicative sales growth number for the US because that could well be the wild card according to investors in your stock?

A: If you are talking about FY13, we believe that will be pretty good well over 20-25%. Current year also the first nine months have been fairly decent and Q4 also would be pretty good.

Q: You are referring to the US sales?

A: Yes, because we have launched Ziprasidone in the current quarter. So we believe it should be pretty good days for the US markets for the current quarter. Going forward, given the kind of rich pipeline that we have, the growth rate should be sustained for FY13 as well.

Q: What about the anti-diabetic drug Glumetza? We understand that you are in place to launch it in 2016, are all the hurdles to it over and done with?

A: Yes, we have got a first-to-file (FTF) on that. We cannot talk about potential launches, but as I said we do have a good opportunity over there as well. You would know that we have already launched a similar drug Fortamet in June, but we have to stop it midway because of an injunction but potentially next year we could look at some launch on that product again.

Q: About Fortamet, give us an update in terms of any sort of litigation or damages which Lupin might be factoring in at this point?

A: Difficult to say essentially because it is still in litigation. It is something which I wouldn

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First Published on Mar 29, 2012 11:53 am
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