Friday, 31 July 2015

Opportunities abound for pharmacy graduates in India


"The ever-evolving Indian pharmaceutical industry is pitched to be a USD 50 billion business by 2020 jumping an overwhelming measure from its current turnover of 30 billion USD annually. With the increasing demand for Pharmacists, there are incredible opportunities for Pharmacy graduates in India", said Dr. Aslam Khan, Director - Arrhythmia Centre and Consulting Physician - Apollo Hospitals.

Addressing the delegates and students at the International Seminar organized by the Sultan ul Uloom College of Pharmacy in collaboration with the Association of Community Pharmacists of India, Dr. Aslam said with the current demand for Indian pharmaceutical products, opportunities for pharmacists are huge in varied sectors including government departments, teaching sector, investigation and research areas, formulation and production of drugs, etc.

In his keynote address, Dr. M. Chandra Sekar - Professor at the University of Findlay, Ohio, USA, a recipient of nearly 15 awards in the field with over 15 publications, said urged the delegates to be diligent in delivering medical care. He said that merely making good products were not enough, but making them appropriately used was more important.

He urged pharmacists to be vigilant while handling prescriptions "should be given to the right person at the right time in the right dose to avoid fatal consequences recollecting how his mother lost hearing while undergoing cancer treatment due to an inappropriate dosage. Over 500 delegates registered for the Seminar with more than half from various pharmacy colleges in the twin cities.

Secretary of Sultan ul Uloom Education Society Mr. Zafar Javeed said "the entire onus of the well being of the surgery depends on the after-care of the surgery adding that it was a noble profession. He also said that the government of Telangana is laying a strong foundation for the bright future of pharmacists with the upcoming Pharmaceutical City."

Principal of Sultan ul Uloom College of Pharmacy Dr. Anupama Koneru welcomed the guests. Mr. Mohammed Jaffar, Mr. Amir Javeed, Dr, Aziz Basha - Principal, Deccan School of Pharmacy, Dr. Nishat - Shadan's Women's College of Pharmacy, Ms and others were also present on this occasion. Earlier, Dr. Anupama Koneru was presented a memento.

Read more at: http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/2015-07-31/Opportunities-abound-for-pharmacy-graduates-in-India-166986

Sun pharma's vision

India's largest drugmaker Sun Pharma may file application for a new drug with the US Food and Drug Administration in next two to three years, the company's Managing Director Dilip Shanghvi said.

The firm's research arm SPARC (Sun Pharma Advanced Research Company) is currently working on three new drugs that are currently under clinical trial stage, he added.

 "A few years back, we decided to separate our innovative business in a company called SPARC. That company has now three products undergoing clinical trials.

 "And hopefully in the next two to three years, we should have our own new product registered in the US," Shanghvi said in his address at Indian School of Business.

 He, however, did not elaborate on the therapeutic areas on which those three chemical entities are under research.

 The company has around 1,800 research scientists working in multiple R&D centres with expertise in developing generics, difficult to make technology intensive products, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), Novel Drug Delivery Systems (NDDS) and New Chemical Entities (NCEs), according to SPARC's website.

The company had earlier said it spends about 6 per cent of its revenues on Research and Development.

Read more at:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/48285355.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Dr. Suniti Solomon_HIV/AIDS Crusader passed away


At a time HIV was spreading like a wildfire across the world, India had a hundred thousand long-haul truck drivers, more than two million prostitutes, close to three thousand brothels, and tens of millions of seasonal workers who moved in and out of the cities. Hundreds of millions of people lived without running water, let alone the costly drugs necessary for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. One woman came out to fight against the growing epidemic, and she was none other than Dr. Suniti Solomon – the HIV/AIDS crusader.

She was a professor of microbiology at the Madras Medical College when she and her colleagues documented the first evidence of the HIV infection in India in 1986 when blood samples of six commercial sex workers tested positive. The samples were first sent to Christian Medical College in Vellore and later to a facility in the USA, where the result was confirmed. The first finding of the deadly virus, in Tamil Nadu, was even read out in the state legislative assembly. It is reported that Dr Solomon was touched by the stories of those six women, especially that of a 13-year-old girl, who was kidnapped and forced into the sex trade. This was a turning point in Solomon’s life. Since then, her life revolved around people living with HIV/AIDS. When many physicians were reluctant, to deal with HIV, she founded the first voluntary HIV testing and counselling centre, Y R Gaitonde Center for AIDS Research and Education (YRG CARE), in Chennai, despite resistance from friends and family.

“This was the early 1990s, when you couldn’t really talk about things like safe sex and condoms in public meetings to a mixed audience. But she did. She really was ahead of her time,” Dr. Sreedhar said. “Dr. Solomon was an affectionate teacher and an inspiring colleague. She gave generously of her time and experience. Her work helped sh. Tamil Nadu’s response to HIV prevention and care, particularly through the early years of the epidemic,”

She used to recall an unforgettable case in which she treated a pregnant woman tested positive in 1992, who delivered a baby who also tested positive, although he later died at the age of 17.

It was not merely for her achievements that make her stand out from the crowd, but for her demeanour, love and care. A few incidents to be named:

She was also known as the HIV matchmaker as she helped arrange marriages for people afflicted with the disease. In fact, a movie titled Match +: A Story About Love in the Time of HIV was made on the subject a few years ago.

According to Solomon, the loneliness and isolation that HIV-positive patients faced was far more destructive than the virus. She was a big proponent of animal-assisted therapy. She would always bring her golden retriever, Nala, and would encourage patients to interact with it, because animals do not discriminate, unlike human beings.

Once she told The New Yorker reporter Michael Specter, “One day, this man came to see me,” Solomon continued. “A nice man, caring. He is a landlord and owns acres and acres. His only son is positive. Of course, people came to him and sought to arrange a marriage, and he kept telling everyone, ‘No, no, my son has to study and isn’t ready for marriage.’ And finally his own sister brought her daughter, which in south India is very common. She said, ‘You can’t do that, my brother, you have to marry your son to my daughter. It’s only right.’ So he told her the truth: ‘My son has H.I.V., and I don’t want your daughter to get sick.’ He saw the change in his sister’s face, and she walked away without a word. His wife, who had been hiding behind the door, heard what he said, and she told their son. The mother and child dressed in their best clothes and went out and bought poison powder in bulk. They drank it together and got into the car. Then the son drove as fast as he could into a big tree and killed them both. After that, the father came to me his life was ruined. He said, ‘All I have done is try to save my niece from getting H.I.V., and now I have lost everything.’

“It was a very, very hard moment for me. I just left the office and went home. I have a dog, and I tell him things I would never say to a human being. So through my tears I told him all about the man who tried to save his niece.”

Dr Suniti Solomon passed away at the age of 76 and was suffering from liver cancer.  

Some of the major awards and recognitions conferred to her:
  • She was awarded a DMS (Honoris Cusa) by the Brown University, USA
  • The Ministry of Science and Technology conferred the ‘National Women Bio-scientist Award’ on her, In 2001, she was given a similar award for her pioneering work on HIV/AIDS by the state run medical varsity.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award for Service on HIV/AIDS by the state-run Dr MGR Medical University
  • Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society
  • Mother Teresa Memorial Award for education and humanitarian services
  • She was awarded on several other occasions too by Tamil Nadu, like in 2005 for her work on HIV.

http://www.doctorpulse.co/?p=4927

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Purdue University collaborates with Dr. Reddy's lab


Purdue University is working toward a strategic partnership with a pharmaceutical company in India. The school and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd. have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at boosting research and development.

The collaboration will focus on pharmaceutical process and product development research in fields such as targeted drug delivery, manufacturing technology, scale-up of pharmaceutical operations, process engineering, as well as research and development methodologies and technology.

India has been a strategic focus for the university, which has nearly 1,500 students from the Asian nation. President Mitch Daniels is scheduled to visit India this fall. The agreement is also designed to push forward the Purdue Moves drug discovery initiative, which involves translating "basic research into life-changing treatments."

Purdue Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships Suresh Garimella says "Dr. Reddy's Laboratories is a global pharmaceutical company that shares our mission to accelerate the rate at which new, advanced treatments make it to the millions of patients in need of relief. This partnership combines strengths that could lead to world-changing research."
DRL produces therapies in areas including gastrointestinal ailments, cardiovascular disease, pain management, oncology, anti-infectives, pediatrics and dermatology.

http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=71794

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Pharma academic research - Indian patent applications published on 24th July 2015


Every week of thousands of patent applications are published in India. The patent applications filed by the pharma academic research institutes in India go un-noticed.

We publish a list of Indian applications published related to pharma academics. This would provide us an idea about the kind of academic research being carried out in these institutes. For details of these patents, please write back to us at pharmaliterati@gmail.com

Indian patent applications published on 24th July 2015

Invention
Application No
Inventors
Institute
Anti-tubercular drug Nano-conjugates
2689/CHE/2015 A
1) Dr. Sarvamangala Dhurjeti
2) Dr. Sathyanarayana Murthy Upadhyayula
3) Nagasejitha Pulakunta
4) Dr. L. Srinivas
Not known
(3-(2-chloroquinolin-3-yl) oxiran-2-yl)(phenyl) methanone derivatives and medicinal use thereof
2774/CHE/2015 A
1) Narasimha Murthy Preveena
2) Amit Kumar Tiwari
3) Dr. Gopalpur Nagendrappa
Jain University, Bangalore
Pharmaceutical colloidal formulations for intranasal delivery of zwitterionic anticancer drug methotrexate
3544/MUM/2013 A
1) Patravale; Vandana Bharat
2) Fernandes; Clara Bernard
3) Agarwal; Ankit Ashokbhai
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technology, Institute of Chemical technology,
Mumbai.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Delhi Pharmaceutical Science and Research University


The Pharmaceutical University which has been a long pending plan of the Delhi government is going to be functional from this academic session.

The Act of Delhi Pharmaceutical Science and Research University (DPSRU) was passed by the Legislative Assembly of National Capital Territory of Delhi in September, 2008 but it could not be made functional, so far.

“With the vision to promote excellence, research and development in pharmaceutical field the new Government of Delhi took initiative by making the University functional,” an official from the Delhi government said.

The Board of Governors (BoG) of the University has been notified to take forward the academic functioning of the University from the Current Academic Session 2015-16.

The University will run from the DIPSAR Campus at Pushp Vihar in Saket. Presently, the existing institute DIPSAR is running Diploma, Bachelor Degree and Master Degree in Pharmacy.

The University will introduce more courses in pharmaceutical field and in allied sciences, like medical lab technology and physiotherapy. This will increase the present student strength of around 600 to 1,500 over a period of three years. More specialised Post Graduate Programmes will also be added along with creation of Centres of Excellence in the specialised area of pharmacy like medicinal chemistry, toxicology, drug regulatory affairs.

The University will also focus on the thrust area of research like diabetes mellitus, biological research, drug discovery and development and herbal drug technology etc.
The creation of University will boost the pharmaceutical and health care industries that the University will collaborate and share the research and development as per requirements of the industry.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/pharmaceutical-university-opens-from-this-academic-session/article7462328.ece

Online Certificate Course on IPR and Pharmaceutical R&D (CCIPR) updates

We recently announced the collaboration with FICCI's CCIPR course. 
Please see: http://pharmaliterati.blogspot.in/2015/06/pharma-literati-collaborates-with-ficci.html

The registrations for the course would be opening on 1st August 2015. 
Visit: http://www.ficciipcourse.in/ for the course details. 

Registration Start Date: 1st August 2015.
Registration Closing Date: 25th August 2015.
Conduct of the Course: September 2015- February 2016.
Course Duration: 6 Months.
Fees: 10,000 Rs for students and 15,000 Rs. for industry professionals. 
The subscribers of Pharma Literati would be eligible for a special discount of 10 % for the course. 


About the course:
Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) provides the Online Certificate Course on IPR and Pharmaceutical R&D. This course is designed for pharmacy students and junior level scientists in the pharmaceutical industry.

Unique Features of the course:
1. State-of-the-art course designed to provide details about pharmaceutical R&D and its correlation to IPR.
2. First course dedicated to the pharmaceutical research and IPR.
3. The course is designed considering pharmaceutical students, who wish to enter pharmaceutical industry.
4. Course also involves three different competitions at different levels (After 2 months; After 4 months and Case paper competition, which is module 6). The winner of each competition would receive certificate of appreciation and an award of Rs. 5000/-.
5. The contents are easy to understand, written by industry experts, experts from academia considering the needs of students.
6. Online support for queries.
7. Fortnightly IPR Updates to participants.

Training Materials:
Module I - The Pharmaceutical Business
Module II - The Pharmaceutical Research and Development
Module III - Intellectual Property Rights: introduction
Module IV - IPR - With specific reference to Pharmaceuticals
Module V - IPR - Indian Patent Scenario
Module VI - Case Paper (50 Marks)

Course Coordinator:
Ms. Kartika Suhag
Email: kartika.suhag@ficci.com 
Phone: 011-23487477.





Global page views for Pharma Literati

Pharma Literati is going global. When we started this initiative, the idea was to create a niche blog for the pharmacy students in India. Not yet fully accomplished the mission, however we have made a sort of head-start in the right direction. What is more surprising is the fact that there has been keen interest by some of the subscribers across the globe beyond India.

Just providing the details of the page-views accessed by our subscribers across the globe as on 27th July 2015. 


Happy reading. 

New Logo for Pharma Literati

We have a brand new logo for Pharma Literati. It's been a long time we were working on this and finally it has materialized into a gem of a piece. Must thank the designer for the work.



Thursday, 23 July 2015

Exploring Innovative Practices in Pharmacy Education and Research

Jayamukhi College of Pharmacy in association with Jayamukhi Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences organizing the National Level Seminar on ‘Exploring  Innovative Practices in Pharmacy Education and Research’ on 13th August 2015 at Narsampet, Warangal district, Telangana.

A series of talk on 
  • Pharmacovigilance, 
  • Green Chemistry, 
  • Clinical skills for a Modern Pharmacists and 
  • Patent Filing and Drafting 
will be conducted as a part of the event. 

A platform for the students to present posters (A3 size)  during the event, it encompasses presenting selected topics on Recent advances in therapeutics, Evidence based medicine, Recent regulatory changes in Pharma field , and a new generation of chemotherapeutic agents.
 
Inviting students, research scholars and faculty members  present their views and opinions on current updates in the pharmaceutical Sciences. 


Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Job opening in Mumbai for TCS_M. Pharm Freshers

Company
Requirement
Location
Contact details
Details
TCS
M. Pharm Freshers 2014 and 2015 passouts.
Mumbai
11 am to 4 pm 23rd July 2015

TCS, Godrej Complex, Vikhroli West
Walk-in

National Pharmacy Week - 2015


The Indian Pharmaceutical Association would be celebrating the National Pharmacy Week every year during the third week of November. The major focus of NPW celebrations is to create awareness amongst the public, other healthcare providers and the authorities, about the NPW theme in specific and about the pharmacy profession and role of the pharmacist in general.

The 54th National Pharmacy Week (NPW) will be celebrated from 15th to 21st November, 2015.

The theme selected for this year is: "Responsible Use of Antibiotics Saves Lives".

We look forward to receiving your innovative ideas about how NPW should be celebrated this year as well as about the educational material to be developed to make it most effective and meaningful.

Your active participation is most welcome.

Please write your suggestions to ipacentre@ipapharma.org / ipacpd@gmail.com

Keep checking www.ipapharma.org for more details.

Source: http://www.ipapharma.org/html/npw_2015.html



UGC bans use of animals for research in laboratories


What could be seen as a really positive step towards protection of animals, the University Grants Commission has directed all the universities under it to stop experimenting with animals as research in their laboratory.

As a part of the initiative, the affiliated universities are supposed to register online with the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiment on Animals (CPCSEA), which is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment responsible for the prevention of cruelty to animals. By being a part of it, the universities will be agreeing to comply with the guidelines in their Life Sciences and Zoology courses.

The UGC has instructed the universities to consider and comply to the matter on priority-basis. An 'action-report' is expected from them by July 30. As many as 1,544 universities have already registered with the Committee.


A ban was also implemented on animal dissection in 2011 but had too many loopholes to gain any success. But, due to the repeated complaints regarding non-compliance of the norms related to cruelty on animals, UGC along with Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) have enforced teaching methods sans use of animals. 

UGC had also instructed all the universities to comply with the Biological Diversity Act in academics and research, to increase awareness and safeguard biodiversity in the country. 

Source: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/education/story/ugc-bans-animal-use/1/452134.html

India: the pharmacy of the world where ‘crazy drug combinations’ go unregulated


This article by Patricia McGettigan, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacology at Queen Mary University of London highlights the rampant practice of combination drugs in India.

India has been called the pharmacy of the world. Many generic drugs are made there and much of its drug production is exported internationally. Thousands of fixed dose combination (FDC) drugs – where two or more drugs are combined in a set ratio in a single dose form, usually a tablet or capsule – are formulated, made and sold within India.

Many FDCs are safe and effective. They are used in situations where both the drug combination and the doses needed are standardised and stable, for example, in the treatment of HIV, for Parkinson’s disease and in contraceptive pills.

However, in a study investigating these drugs in India, we found thousands of FDCs on the market made up of formulations never approved for marketing by the national regulator, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, and that were likely to be more harmful than beneficial to patients.

As two pharmacologists in India, writing in response to the study put it:
“One can find any crazy drug combination which could give nightmares to any doctor who has some understanding of the concept of the rational use of medicine. It is simply beyond comprehension of any rationalist. Even antimicrobials are being combined weirdly, which is a grave challenge for crusaders against antimicrobial resistance.”

FDCs in India
Considered an innovation of India’s national pharmaceutical industry, FDCs are promoted extensively and used in huge numbers within the country. These drugs are mostly available through wholesalers, pharmacies (not necessarily with a prescription), dispensing doctors, but some are used in hospitals too.

For years though, there has been disquiet. In 2007, the national regulator banned 294 of the drugs because they had never been approved for marketing but had been given manufacturing licenses by authorities. FDC manufacturers disputed the ban and the matter remains unresolved in the courts. In 2012, an Indian government committee investigating the standards and capacity of the regulator issued a report highlighting multiple problems, including FDC approvals.

The committee found state authorities were issuing manufacturing licenses for new formulations that were never approved. It said: “The end result is that many FDCs in the market have not been tested for efficacy and safety. This can put patients at risk”. Many formulations were also medically unnecessary.

The report noted that “ambiguities” in the rules on new drugs prior to an amendment to existing legislation in May 2002 might have encouraged the marketing of FDCs without approval. However, we identified no ambiguities in the drug rules and found that just as many unapproved new FDCs appeared on the market after the amendment as before.

The scale of the issue
The committee’s report included no investigation of the size of the problem or potential risks to patients, so we used drug approval records (1961-2013) and commercial sales data (2007-2012) to identify approved and unapproved FDCs on the market and calculate the quantities being sold.

We examined four areas: pain-relief, diabetes, anxiety/depression, and psychosis. We chose these because the drugs are commonly used and many, even when used alone, have serious side effects.

In the four areas, we found 175 FDC formulations on the market, 115 (66%) with no record of approval. Metformin drugs for diabetes had the best approval compliance, anti-psychotics the worst.

FDC formulations give rise to many branded products made by different pharmaceutical companies, each promoting their own products in a crowded marketplace. Among anti-inflammatories, there were almost 3,000 branded products, with more than 1,000 of them made from unapproved formulations. Vast volumes of these FDC products are sold in India.

Banned or restricted in other countries
Among the products on the market, we found numerous combinations containing drugs that are banned or restricted in other countries. Some of these were formulations actually approved by the regulator, others were unapproved. They included, for example, melitracen, an antidepressant widely banned owing to central nervous system toxicity (in India its top-selling combination with flupentixol, an anti-psychotic, was banned in 2013, re-approved, then banned again in 2014, and nimesulide, an analgesic also widely banned due to its association with liver toxicity and put under sales restrictions in 2007 by the European Medicines Agency.

Several anti-inflammatories included a muscle relaxant drug banned because of damage to dividing cells in the body while yet others contained two types of anti-inflammatory together, giving no advantage for pain but increasing the risk of serious side effects including bleeding in the stomach and heart attack.

Some combinations were potentially lethal, for example, an anti-psychotic containing two drugs from the same class, both individually associated with major toxicity including sudden death. Dozens of antidepressant and benzodiazepines included combinations of sedating drugs shown individually to increase the risk of falls and accidents.

Response and remedy
Following the committee report in 2012, the Indian government made attempts to improve FDC regulation. But there was little enforcement. In fact, manufacturers lobbied against regulatory change, making “an earnest appeal” to government to “maintain status quo”, both approved and unapproved, marketed up to September 2012. And that is exactly what has happened.

It is clear from our research that drug regulation in India, a key international exporter of medicines, needs a major overhaul. Unapproved FDCs should be banned and patients transferred to appropriate single drugs. Public health, not manufacturers’ commercial concerns, should inform the regulation of India’s drugs.

But all too often, as we have found, business comes first and citizens are the losers. Alongside Indian medical and legal colleagues, we are now working to see unapproved FDCs banned once and for all and to draft a new drugs act for India. With strong and clear legislation, a most important step will be taken to ensure that in the long term the people of India have safe and effective drugs made in their country.

Source: http://theconversation.com/india-the-pharmacy-of-the-world-where-crazy-drug-combinations-go-unregulated-42386

Monday, 20 July 2015

Lupin to increase R&D spend to highest in India


Lupin is on its way to making the highest R&D spend in the pharma industry

Lupin is on its way to making the highest R&D spend in the pharma industry. Vice-chairman Kamal Sharma said it will be spending 10% of its turnover on R&D soon. “Our R&D spend is inching to 10%. We are now at 8.5%,” he said. Lupin’s R&D investments have been in the 7.5-8.75% of the turnover range for the last five years. In FY15, Lupin spent R1,119 crore on R&D expenses. Lupin’s R&D investment has doubled in the last five years, Sharma said. The average R&D spend for the industry is around 5-7%.

Lupin has two R&D centres each in India and Japan. The Lupin Research Park in Pune has a talent pool of 1,400 scientists and is ramping up with fresh investments, Sharma said. He declined to share details of the expansion in the R&D budget, but said it will happen soon. The company has, till date, 210 ANDA filing, of which 111 have be approved and 12 were done in FY15. The company has filed 2,197 patents.

At the Pune International Centre (PIC) in Pune, Sharma pushed for a manufacturing-led growth in India. He cited the journey of Lupin as a successful ‘Make in India’ story. The PIC along with the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) has launched a lecture series on ‘Make in India’ success stories and lessons learnt from them.

Lupin has managed to transform into a global company despite all the challenges faced in the manufacturing business in India. Lupin has 11 manufacturing sites in India and two in Latin America one in Russia and two in Japan. Sharma said Lupin transformed itself from a company with an around $400-million market capitalisation in 2004 to $12-billion M-cap currently with revenues of $2.2 billion. “The company transformed by being a domestic focused bulk drug player in 2005 to a global company with 72% of business coming from exports and 90% of the turnover from formulations,” Sharma said. The US accounts for 72% of Lupin’s overseas revenues followed by 14% from Japan.

In R&D, Lupin is moving up the value chain from generic business and getting into specialty business, Sharma said.

http://www.financialexpress.com/article/industry/companies/lupin-to-increase-rd-spend-to-highest-in-india/101147/

Ajanta Pharma: The small big dream


Forbes India's latest issue has article highlighting the history of Ajanta Pharma, the growth and the current ecenario. 

It took a second generation of Agrawals to change the future of Ajanta Pharma which, from being mired in debt, has seen a 65-fold growth in market value.

To date, yesteryear bollywood superstar Jeetendra has appeared in only one television commercial to endorse a product. That was in the 1990s, for a popular over-the-counter (OTC) energiser capsule for men called ‘30-Plus’. Jeetendra was in his late 40s then, but looked much younger. Though 30-Plus sold like hot cakes, revenues from its sales didn’t justify the exorbitant marketing cost that its maker, a then little-known company called Ajanta Pharma, incurred. (It sold 30-Plus to Dabur for an undisclosed sum in 2011.)

But even before it sold its bestseller, the Mumbai-based listed company—set up in 1973 by three brothers, Mannalal, Purushottam and Madhusudan Agrawal—had been incurring huge losses for many years. In June 2000, it was trading at just Rs 24 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange with negligible interest from investors. In 2001-2002, it reported a consolidated loss of Rs 1 crore and by the following year, it was reeling under a debt burden of Rs 130 crore. Ajanta Pharma needed a shot of its own medicine, an energiser like 30-Plus. It found its antidote in the new generation of Agrawals: Mannalal’s sons, Yogesh and Rajesh.

“When I joined Ajanta (in 2000), and realised what was going on, I wanted to run away. I thought to myself, ‘Why did I return from the US? I could have had a job there,’” says Rajesh, 39, Ajanta’s joint managing director, who has a management degree from Bentley College, Massachusetts. “It was tough in the beginning, especially the situation with creditors and debtors.”

Together, Rajesh and his older brother Yogesh, 43, who is managing director, changed Ajanta’s trajectory by focusing on the ‘specialty’ generic drug market and putting an end to the company’s legacy businesses, which included OTC drug sales and supplying drugs to government health agencies in India and other countries.

This was a risky move, but it has paid off. Ajanta Pharma closed FY15 with a consolidated net sales of Rs 1,481 crore and a net profit of Rs 310 crore (this is a compound annual growth rate, or CAGR, of 57 percent for four years since 2011). In terms of net sales, it recorded a CAGR of 31 percent for the same period. This growth has come on a low base, but the signs are encouraging. Its market value currently stands at around Rs 13,500 crore; this is a 65-fold growth in 15 years.

Ajanta Pharma is a very small player in a market full of giants such as Sun Pharma, which reported a turnover of Rs 27,280 crore and net profits of Rs 4,780 crore in FY15. (These figures have been adjusted to reflect the earnings of Ranbaxy Laboratories, which Sun Pharma acquired in March 2015.) Yogesh and Rajesh knew they did not have the financial or operational muscle to compete with the ‘big boys’ in the $31 billion Indian pharmaceutical market, some of whom have single generic drug brands that are worth more than Ajanta’s entire operating profit. Instead, they focussed on launching first-of-its-kind generic drugs.

The way the brothers have channelled the company’s resources has caught the attention of analysts and investors. “The small size of the company presents an excellent opportunity for investment as they are poised for rapid growth,” says Raamdeo Agrawal, managing director and co-founder of Motilal Oswal Financial Services. His company, through investment products like mutual funds, invested in Ajanta Pharma around three years ago and, according to Agrawal, is sitting on at least a ten-fold return on investment. Motilal Oswal continues to invest in Ajanta which, as of June 30, was trading at Rs 1,554 on the Sensex. 

By 2014-15, Ajanta’s return on equity stood at an impressive 43 percent, while return on capital employed was at 52 percent. It reported one of the highest earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) margins among its listed peers in the pharmaceutical sector at 34 percent. The company has managed to achieve all this with a small presence in the US market, which is the golden goose. A third of its sales comes from India, and the rest from emerging countries in Asia and Africa. Its products are sold in 35 countries, including Iraq, Nigeria, Cameroon and the Philippines. The Agrawals brought about this turnaround by changing their strategy and focusing only on specialty generic drugs, identifying the right segments, products and markets, and taking a risk to borrow further so that they could invest in research and development (R&D).


Read more: http://forbesindia.com/article/super-50-companies-2015/ajanta-pharma-the-small-big-dream/40691/1#ixzz3gPqfkSWF

Dr PG Yeole appointed as Pro Vice-chancellor of RTM Nagpur University


Dr PG Yeole, Principal, IPER Wardha and former President of APTI is appointed as the Pro Vice-chancellor of Rashtrasant Tukdoji Maharaj Nagpur University by the Chancellor and Governor of Maharashtra. Yeole completed his B Pharm from Mumbai University, M Pharm from Pune University and PhD from Nagpur University. He was awarded Mahindra Talent Search Scholarship for securing first position in M Pharm.

Yeole started his teaching career from September 1, 1982 at Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (IPER), Wardha, Maharashtra. In 1985, he was appointed as principal of same institute. Since then he holds the same position at IPER, which conducts diploma, degree, post graduate and doctorate programmes in pharmaceutical sciences.

Yeole has been emphatically working for the cause of up-liftment of pharmacy profession in India by being the President of Association of Pharmaceutical Teachers of India, Working President of Association of Unaided Private Pharmacy Colleges, Vice President of Indian society of pharmacognosy and member of Indian Pharmaceutical Congress Association and life member of different National and International professional societies.

Yeole was a dean of faculty of medicine of RTM Nagpur University. He was a member of Management Council and senate of Rastrasant Tukdoji Maharaj Nagpur University and the Chairman of Board of studies of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Nagpur University and also member of Board of studies in Pharmaceutics, Pune University, Member of Board of studies (PG Program), Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi, and other five different universities of India.

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