Drug major Aurobindo Pharma is looking to commercialise a COVID-19 vaccine, build a portfolio of biosimilar products, expand API production as part of its growth plans going ahead, as per company’s annual report for 2020-21. The Hyderabad-based drug major is looking to develop products with higher complexity, focus on injectables business and expand business in high growth markets like China.
“We are channelising our efforts to develop capabilities to commercialise COVID-19 vaccine. We have already entered into an exclusive license agreement with Vaxxinity, a US-based company to develop, commercialise and manufacture UB612, a multitope peptide-based vaccine for COVID-19,” Aurobindo Pharma Vice Chairman K Nithyananda Reddy informed company’s shareholders.
Vaxxinity’s phase II trials are ongoing in Taiwan which is expected to be completed by second quarter of FY22, he noted. “Moreover, Vaxxinity has applied for phase II/III clinical trials in India. Our viral vaccine facility will be ready for commercial production by the end of July 2021,” Reddy stated. He noted that the company is also making steady progress in building its biosimilars portfolio with a product portfolio targeting a market opportunity of over USD 50 billion.
The company’s focus remains on oncology, ophthalmology and immunology, he added. “Another area we are initiating work on is immuno-oncology, which ensures a strategic continuity of our products portfolio in a critical therapeutic segment with anti-PD1s. We are developing 15 biosimilars, which reflects our commitment to build a sustainable biosimilars business over the medium term,” Reddy said. He noted that the company is now targeting products with higher complexity, making inroads into the specialty segment in the US and have firm plans to expand in the second largest pharma market (China).
The company is also reinforcing its prominence in the EU market and other key growth markets (Canada and South Africa) and Brazil, he added. Reddy noted that the company is looking at its injectables business as a key growth lever going ahead. The drug maker has already built a strong presence in injectables across delivery systems such as liquid and lyophilised vials, bags, ampoules, and prefilled syringes and have robust manufacturing and execution capabilities as well, he stated. “We completed the construction of an injectable facility in the US, which will be a dedicated unit to manufacture high-value and low-volume products. We are also setting up another injectables facility in Visakhapatnam for Europe and growth markets, which is expected to be ready for commercial production in the next 15-18 months,” Reddy noted.
The company is optimistic about the growth trajectory of this business and looking forward to executing the extensive pipeline through its commercial reach, he added. Aurobindo Pharma is also looking to expand production capacity of APIs in order to increase supplies to external parties. Moreover, the drug maker is also strengthening its capabilities to develop and commercialise more complex APIs, Reddy said. “Collectively, a strong new product pipeline, focus on injectables business and a gradual strengthening of complex generics portfolio will be the key growth drivers for our business over the medium term,” Aurobindo Pharma Managing Director N Govindarajan noted. In FY21, the company’s revenue from operations grew by 7 per cent to Rs 24,775 crore from Rs 23,098 crore in FY20.