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GVK Bio wants to be Infosys of pharma world

The company is planning to set up a 200-250 kilolitre capacity API plant in Visakhapatnam with an investment of Rs 60-100 cr

Hyderabad-based GVK Biosciences Limited on Friday said it aspired to become an equivalent of Infosys in the global pharmaceutical sector and was scaling up its capabilities both on research and manufacturing turfs in line with this objective.

Outsourcing is the sole business model of this privately-held company, which currently gets 50 per cent of its revenues from drug discovery research and 26 per cent from CRAMS (contract manufacturing) that includes active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

GVK Bio chief executive officer Manni Kantipudi said the company was focusing on capabilities to handle large molecule research as six of the top 10 revenue earning drugs in the world were biotechnology products, an indication of future trend in drug innovation. In January this year, the company had acquired US-based Aragen Biosciences and has just set up a huge biology laboratory facility at its existing campus as part of this effort.

It has also embarked on a forward integration for manufacturing the drugs for the global clientele in addition to offering R&D and clinical research at a lower cost and in a relatively shorter duration, he said. GVK Bio had recently established a formulations laboratory in Bangalore and is now planning to set up a 200-250 kilolitre capacity API plant in Visakhapatnam. This facility will require an investment of Rs 60-100 crore, according to him.

He said the company had no plans to raise funds from any external sources as most of the profits were being ploughed back into the company for capex requirements. The company employs 2,400 people, including 1,100 scientist engaged in drug discovery research.

Responding to a question on a recent report that Sequoia Capital, which holds a 9.1 per cent stake in the company, was planning to exit, Kantipudi said the representatives of Sequoia had denied having any such plans. The GVK group and former Ranbaxy managing director DS Brar together hold the rest of the stake, according to him.

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First Published: Fri, March 21 2014. 20:31 IST