Pharma is on a roll. More than a fifth of the 100 richest billionaires in India have pharma and health care riches, among them half of the eight newcomers, such as Hasmukh Chudgar, whose Intas Pharmaceuticals was recently valued by Temasek at close to $1.4 billion. Entrepreneur P. V. Ramaprasad Reddy, one of three returnees to the list, came back after four years on a threefold jump in shares of his Aurobindo Pharmaceuticals.
Pharma also overtakes steel. Founder of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, India’s most valuable drug company (market cap: $27 billion), becomes the country’s second-richest person, zipping past steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal. Sun’s shares surged after it acquired scandal-tainted rival Ranbaxy Laboratories from Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo for $4 billion in April. Deal awaits approvals, including from the Competition Commission of India, which is examining whether it would give Sun a monopoly on some drugs. Some clouds: the U.S. Food & Drug Administration issued an import alert for Sun’s factory in Gujarat, and U.S. arm Caraco pharmaceutical Laboratories recalled three medicines this year.
Desh Bandhu Gupta pharma magnate also known as “DBG” is richer by $1.6 billion taking him to No. 19 on the list with $4.8 billion as shares of his generics firm, Lupin , surged on rising profits. Eyeing global expansion, daughter Vinita and son Nilesh, who run operations, acquired Dutch firm Nanomi, which makes complex injectable products, then entered Mexico with the acquisition of Laboratorios Grin, maker of opthalmic products. Japan is big on their radar; they have a new joint venture with Yoshindo to develop biosimilar drugs for the Japanese.
Business has been good for Pankaj Patel’s Cadila Healthcare which was one of seven Indian firms to get a license from U.S.-based Gilead Sciences to make a low-cost, generic version of its hepatitis C drug Sovaldi, taking his net worth to $3.2 billion.
Yusuf Hamied’s Cipla broke new ground in Februrary when it said that it would help rival Merck to market its HIV drug in India. Eyeing global expansion, it acquired distribution companies in Yemen and Sri Lanka and a stake in Washington D.C.’s Chase pharmaceuticals, which makes drugs for Alzheimer’s disease. Hamied is No. 28 on the list with $3 billion.
P.V. Ramprasad Reddy returns to list on a threefold increase in shares of generics firm Aurobindo Pharma, which he cofounded in 1986 with a relative. The company bounced back after the U.S. FDA lifted an import ban it had imposed in 2011 for manufacturing lapses. Aurobindo’s sales in the U.S. are up, and it is expanding in Europe.
Glenn Saldanha’s Glenmark Pharmaceuticals is expanding its global footprint. In May the company opened a new factory in Switzerland, where it already has a research center, to make drugs for cancer and multiple sclerosis. It’s also building a new factory in the U.S., a market that contributes more than a third to Glenmark’s $1 billion annual revenues. Sister Cheryl, also a pharmacist, oversees corporate affairs.
Newbies on the list brothers Dilip & Anand Surana run Micro Labs, pharma outfit founded in 1973 by their late father Ghewar Chand Surana, who started his career as a pharmaceutical distributor in Chennai. The $372 million (revenues) firm, now headquartered in Bangalore, makes generic drugs that it sells domestically and exports to 30 countries. Micro Labs is in the process of seeking U.S. FDA approval to make generic versions of 75 medicines for eye care, pain management and hypertension. It has invested $33 million in a new factory in the northeast state of Sikkim. The brothers run the company and are targeting sales of $1 billion by 2018.
Sales at Habil Khorakiwala’s pharma outfit Wockhardt were hit by a U.S. FDA import ban on drugs made at 2 of the company’s factories in Maharashtra and by import alerts issued by U.k.’s health regulator. In fiscal year 2014 the company reported a 14% drop in revenues to $810 million while net profits nearly halved to $140 million. Despite these setbacks, Wockhardt’s shares are up by 50% in the past 11 months, restoring Khorakiwala’s billionaire status.
Via : Forbes.com