20 June, 2005: Sandoz Private, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Novartis AG, has applied for seven Abbreviated New Drug Applicatons (ANDAs) for products that are likely to go off-patent in the next three to five years. The company is also setting up a plant for active pharma ingredients at Mahad, Maharashtra, which would be operational by 2007.
“This is an attempt to replicate the Indian generic revenue model for the company’s operations in India,” Sandoz Chief Executive Officer Andreas Rummelt, who is on a visit to all Novartis and Sandoz facililties in India, said.
The Indian model is being followed by Ranbaxy, Cipla, Sun Pharma and Dr Reddy’s Labs in an attempt to corner the regulated market in the country. The revenue model was first rolled out in India, and now global pharmaceutical majors are trying to replicate it, he said.
Earlier, Sandoz’s facility at Kalwa, on the outskirts of Mumbai, had received US FDA approval.
The company is also setting up a multi-purpose plant for active pharma ingredient at Mahad. However, further details were not revealed, with the CEO stating that the plant would be “commissioned immediately”.
Sandoz has facilities at Kolshet, Kalwa, Mahad and Turbe in Maharashtra and employs over 1,000 people. The Mahad facility, equipped with the rifampicin plant, was transferred to Sandoz from Novartis India.
Rifampicin prices are under the control of the Drug Regulatory Authority, and the company is finding it difficult to sustain the plant.
Sandoz worldwide reported 12 per cent rise in sales in the first quarter of 2005 to $803 million and a 21 per cent increase in operating income to $110 million.
The company has entered into agreements to acquire 100 per cent of Hexal AG, the privately-held generics company in Germany. Hexal has a strong European presence and a 67.7 per cent stake in Eon Labs, a US-based generics company.
BY OUR PHARMA CORRESPONDENT