Dr Reddy Labs scouts for US skincare buyouts

Written by Reghu Balakrishnan | Hyderabad, Jan 29 | Updated: Jan 30 2008, 05:56am hrs
The US skincare market will witness a fierce battle in the near future, with Indian pharma major Dr Reddys Laboratories (DRL) planning to acquire a small-sized company in the segment there. The company is learnt to be looking for a $50 million buyout in the dermatology segment in the US, a market valued around $10 billion and growing at 10% per annum.

The move also underlines the appetite the company has for overseas acquisitions, despite the pressure from its 2006 acquisition of Germans Betapharm weighing heavily on its numbers for the third quarter. DRLs profits dipped to Rs 84.7 crore during the quarter from Rs 187.9 crore a year ago.

Other pharma giants like Ranbaxy and Glenmark have already established themselves in the US skincare market by acquiring and tying up for brands. Though DRL has not fixed any timeframe for the buyout, it is expected to take place in the next fiscal. Satish Reddy, MD and COO, DRL, said, The company is looking for a good presence in the dermatology segment in the US. We are looking for an acquisition that comes to about $50 million, which will give an established presence there. The company is also planning to in-license two to three dermatology molecules for the US market. He said that the company is keen to enter regulated markets like the US and Europe with its oncology drugs soon. DRL is also filing about 15-20 abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) in the US, next fiscal. Though the company has entered into a settlement agreement with Novartis, avoiding litigation, it is expected to increase its litigation expenditure.

In May 2007, Ranbaxy Laboratories Inc, the wholly owned subsidiary of Ranbaxy Laboratories, acquired the US rights to a group of 13 dermatology products from Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). Glenmark Pharma has also entered the US skin care market by tying up with Paul Capital Partners Royalty Fund (a healthcare investment fund) to develop 16 skincare products for the US market.

The travel for the story was sponsored by DRL