INDIA – Aurobindo Pharma Ltd announced it has acquired Veritaz’s domestic formulation business for Rs 171 crore (US$22.5 million) in debt-free cash-free terms.

According to the company, this acquisition vehicle will greatly assist Aurobindo as a launch pad for marketing biosimilar and other products in India.

The transaction will take effect on April 1, 2022, and is expected to be completed by May 20, 2022, according to the company.

Aurobindo Pharma also stated that this acquisition will assist it in the launch and marketing of biosimilars and other products in India.

The managing director of Aurobindo Pharma, Nithyananda Reddy, stated, “I am pleased to announce Aurobindo’s entry into the domestic market with this acquisition.

With this acquisition, we strongly believe that with Aurobindo’s ability to build a product portfolio, and with Veritaz’s existing and expanding distribution network, we will be able to create a significant footprint in the domestic pharma market over the next few years.”

Veritaz Healthcare is a pharmaceutical company based in India that sells branded generic formulations as well as other health-care products.

The company owns approximately 180 trademarks, 40 of which are currently marketed in two divisions. The major portfolios that contribute to the firm’s revenue are anti-infective and pain management.

The current market for Veritaz’s products is worth some 267.8 billion rupees (US$3.54 billion). Veritaz’s employee headcount clocks in at more than 900, 700 of whom are sales reps, Aurobindo said.

Veritaz, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Trident Chemphar Limited, had a nine-month turnover of Rs 133 crore (US$17.5 million) that ended in December 2021, and a full-year turnover of Rs 127 crore (US$16.7 Million).

This turnover marks a 4.9 percent growth, for FY22 (up to December 2021), Aurobindo noted in its exchange filing.

It has around 40 brands in the acute and critical care segments, and it has 180 trademarks registered in its name. Fepanil and Merogram are two of its most well-known brands.

Currently, the company caters to anti-infective and pain-management therapeutic areas and has a pipeline of products to enter into the ‘Cardio/Diabetic’ and ‘Ortho/Gynaecology’ segments according to the statement.

Aurobindo’s Indian manufacturing agreement comes amid regulatory uncertainty in the United States, where the company recently recalled a batch of antibiotics after a complaint revealed the presence of a hair in a vial of the drug.

Meanwhile, the US Food and Drug Administration published in January a warning letter it issued to Aurobindo’s Telangana, Hyderabad, India, facility following an inspection last August.

In its rebuke, the FDA said it had raised similar production violations with the company in 2019, arguing that “repeated failures demonstrate that executive management oversight and control over the manufacture of drugs is inadequate.”

Separately, Aurobindo announced last week that it was closing its Aurolife Pharma unit in Dayton, New Jersey, putting 99 jobs at risk, as per Fiercebiotech.

The Garden State facility was in the sights of the FDA as recently as October 2020, when the regulator issued a warning letter for a slew of issues at the plant, including water leaks and impurity concerns related to drug ingredients for a generic antipsychotic medication.

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