Hyderabad-based Natco Pharma is planning to expand its Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) and intermediates manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu. The company is looking at investing in its existing facility, in Thiruvallur District. The company would be investing around Rs 100 crore in addition to the existing investment of Rs 86.82 crore in the facility to manufacture 16 campaign products at a time, out of 42 API products and R&D activity, with a production capacity of 66.32 tonnes per annum from existing production capacity of 46.267 tonnes per annum. The proposed expansion is in a total land span across 10.57 hectares, which is in possession of the company. According to an environmental impact assessment report submitted in connection with the expansion plan, the expansion is in order to meet the growing market demand for pharmaceutical products in the country. The proposed expansion is expected to bring the total jobs in the plant, including existing staff, to 350 direct and 100 indirect jobs. The proposed products will be manufactured on the basis of proven technologies from in-house R&D and private consultants for the cost-effective and environmentally friendly practices, it added. The company has two API manufacturing facilities, one in Mekaguda village, Rangareddy District, Telangana and the other in Manali, Tamil Nadu.
The Manali plant is manufacturing various cytotoxic APIs and biotechnology-based products.Natco develops APIs for captive consumption of its Finished Dosage Formulation portfolio as well as third-party sales. The company has a strategic advantage with backward integration for critical APIs and is focused on complex molecules in oncology and CNS segments. Other therapeutic areas of focus include anti-asthmatic, anti-depressant, anti-migraine, anti-osteoporosis and gastrointestinal disorders. It is also adding new projects in the third party API business, and the last fiscal saw the launch of Imatinib in the European Union by third party API customers. "The API R&D expansion will help the company broaden its API portfolio in the coming years and with manufacturing capacities at both locations (Mekaguda and Manali) set to double in the next two years, Natco is looking at sustainable growth in third-party API business," said the company in its annual report for 2016-17. It added that the company is also making concrete business development efforts to expand customer base and penetrate into new markets. API exports are focused in the European Union, Canada, Latin America and Southeast Asian markets. It added that Natco's selection process of new products is aligned with Global API trends and significant business growth is possible once operations are scaled up fully over the next two years. As on March 31, 2017, the company has a portfolio of 37 US Drug Master Files (DMFs) with over 10 products under development, added the company.