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Infar Eyes Top Slot In Specialty Women & #39;S Healthcare Mart

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Infar (India), the subsidiary of Dutch chemical giant Akzo Nobel, will focus all its resources to build a leadership position in the specialty women's healthcare market.

The company would simultaneously pursue strategic alliances with other drug majors for co-branding and co-promotion of its products.

P B J M Rohof, managing director, Infar (India), said the company was looking for marketing alliances with drug companies to maximise its reach in the fast growing Indian market.

"We are also exploring the possibility of adding new products to our portfolio to boost our presence in women's healthcare, which is the sole focus area now. The company will look for opportunities once the process of restructuring within the organisation is over," Rohof said.

Infar already has a wide range of products for women between the age group of 14 to 70, but was also into selling 'non-core' products in the anabolic and GI segments.

Rohof said the company was "not worried about these segments as long as they contribute, but if they don't, we will reassess our presence there".

Infar India is going through a phase of restructuring with Organon, the pharmaceutical division of Akzo Nobel that held 51 per cent stake in Infar.

It is in the process of acquiring the balance per cent share through a share purchase agreement with the Indian promoters and a voluntary open offer to the other shareholders.

Obviously, the financial muscle of Organon would come handy if Infar goes for outright acquisition of brands.

The company would continue to focus on core areas, such as both male and women infertility, hormone treatment, contraceptives (in both tablet and injectible forms) and immune suppressants.

It also plans to introduce a new contraceptive product for working women - a vaginal ring which can be implanted in the body which would remain effective for a month.

Infar, however, plans to tread cautiously while bringing in new products in the country before 2005, when India embraces the new patent regime.

"Some of Organon's generics are flagrantly copied by some Indian companies and marketed here, restricting our plans to introduce new products here. After 2005, the Indian pharma sector is expected to go through many shake-outs throwing open opportunities of mergers and acquisitions," Rohof added.

Infar is poised to invest around Rs 70 crore in the formulation plant coming up on Kona Expressway, near Kolkata.

The new manufacturing unit would help the company not only cater to the Indian market, but also act as an exporting hub for Organon's Asian operations.

The company reported net sales of Rs 75.18 crore for the January-June 2001 period, against Rs 61.20 crore in the corresponding period of 2000.

Net profit was at Rs 9.48 crore on June 30, 2001, against Rs 5.83 crore in the corresponding period last fiscal.

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