Thursday, June 4, 2009

Panacea Biotec plans to foray European market

NEW DELHI: Vaccine maker Panacea Biotec plans to foray into the lucrative European retail market by the end of the year. The company’s Baddi plant

has received the German drug regulator’s approval and expects to get approval of three of its drugs by September this year, the company’s joint MD Rajesh Jain told ET. “Once we get the permission to sell our drug in Germany, other Euro-pean countries would expedite our applications as there is mutual rec-ognition of European regulators,“ Mr Jain added. These products are formulations medicines. Unlike the institutional international sales of vaccines, which form bulk of the company’s current Rs 800 annual sales, retail sales offer a higher margin. The company has also set up a wholly-owned subsidiary in Germany, its second in Europe after its Swiss subsidiary. However, the company expects to get a significant revenue stream from its overseas sales after three years when it will sell a larger product range in Europe and its US sales, the world’s largest drug market, kicks in. The Delhi-based company is also expected to soon apply to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to sell its drugs from its Baddi plant, in Himachal Pradesh. In addition, PharmAthene Inc a US-based drug company that specialises in biodefence, in which Panacea Biotec hold 14.5% stake, is in the process of applying to the USFDA to sell its Anthrax vaccines. At present, formulations segment accounts for less than a thrid of the company’s total sales. In the last fiscal, its formulation business grew 14% at Rs 228 crore, while its vaccines sales declined to Rs 548 crore from Rs 637 crore.

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