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Recent Developments, Views & Opinions in Pharma (Archives)


February & March 2013:

ne of the formulas for Big Pharma to tide the difficult times has been to consider splitting the businesses with a view to have better valuations, & having more focus on each part. Being “Small” obviously means better management. After Abbott & Abbvie split into established & branded businesses, now seems even Pfizer maybe considering such an option.
Interestingly a few biggies like Novartis-Sandoz & Sanofi-Zentiva seem to have already realised the effectiveness of dividing businesses quite early. But here, the entities exist still as divisions withing one single company.

While Big Pharma fights the patent cliff, Generic cos. seem to gear-up for a "post patent-expiry era". Acquisitions, Cost-cutting & entries into new /emerging markets seem to be the strategies for Generic Cos. Watson acquired Actavis; Sun had several small-niche acquisitions; German Stada is up for sale; while Teva is on a cost cutting spree - targets to save about $2 Billion from cost cuttings. Teva looks to grow in the East, Sanofi has established a foot-hold in Latam; all in efforts to grow from emerging market sales.

The Year 2013 could see approvals for SGLT2, the newest class of drugs to treat diabetes mellitus type 2 and has the likes of J&J, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers, all developing versions this new class of drugs. BMS & AZ’s Forxiga (Dapagliflozin) as well as J&J’s Canagliflozin is expected to get approvals in 2013.

January 2013:

The next set of "new" emerging pharma markets is said to be from Africa. Kenya, Botswana & Nigeria are the three 'rising' stars from Sub-Saharan Africa and would soon join other established African markets like South Africa, Algeria, Egypt & Morocco. In fact, 10 major African cities are expected to represent between 20 and 30 percent of the total pharmaceutical market opportunity by 2016

Dermatology is fast emerging as a new 'niche' segment as more & more pharma cos seek to expand share in this segment. First Novartis acquired Fougera; then Sun took Dusa; and now Perrigo snaps up Cobrek for $45 Million. Apparently the higher pices and returns make the dermat segment more attractive...and lesser the competition, more the attraction:
                    Perrigo nails down dermatology spot with $45M deal

Glenmark & Salix gets FDA approval for Crofelemer; 
now can target emerging markets for the product - the 1st Indian co. to ever market an NCE. Crofelemer is obtained naturally from the sap of a South American tree-bark and is used to treat diarhoea caused by drugs used in HIV-treatment. The drug could earn Glenmark a potential $80 Million (Rs. 435 Crores)

The Best Drug Companies Of The Past 15 Years: 
Amazingly, Novartis seems to be on-top of the list in terms of most number of new drug innovations, at a decade which is considered to be the worst in terms of an innovation drought!!!

An interesting Report on the Orphan Drug Market - Size, Growth & Potential
At $50 Billion, the orphan drug market forms 6% of the global pharma market size. Currently growing at CAGR of 25%, what makes it attractive is the fact that its a niche segment with minimal competition and high drug prices.

Q. Did you know What's the best selling orphan drug?
Answer - Its Roche's Rituxan (Rituximab) garnering sales of $ 7 Billion annually!!

Why does the Japanese markets seem so elusive to Generic Pharma cos.? Is it the regulations or is it the Japanese mindset and reluctance to accept Generics? Japanese Generics have been talked about & watched by most since 2005. But an entry for Indian and other generic cos still looks tough in the USD 35 Billion market.

Mahesh Sundar,
Feb 11, 2013, 5:20 AM