In order to continue its focus on core pharma business, Strides Pharma Science will be demerging its biotech business under Stelis Biopharma, said a top company official. The Board will form a Committee of Directors to explore various options of value discovery including listing of the business.
“The biopharma business needs a lot of capital. At Strides, if we continue to put that capital in Stelis, it would be a challenge on our balance sheet. Our core business is growing extremely well particularly in regulated markets such as the US so we would want to continue to focus on where the growth is and not get distracted by businesses that need longer gestation periods. Hence, the decision is to demerge and list it as a separate company,” said R Ananthanarayanan, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of the Bengaluru-headquartered pharma company.
Stelis Biopharma will require up to $100 million additionally to fund all its programmes over the next three years, he added. Promoters will lead the funding for the growth phase at Stelis with a $50 million commitment.
Stelis has already seen an investment of $145 million so far during its gestation period, of which $73 million have been pumped in by Strides.
The company has hired former HDFC Bank MD Aditya Puri to lead the next phase of growth at Stelis, where he will be chairman of the Board.
The company is also in the process of setting up a vaccine line under Stelis which will also have capability to manufacture up to 800 million doses of vaccines annually. Discussions are underway to partner with global vaccine developers for manufacturing services at the unit. “This line is predominantly for manufacturing Covid vaccines. The equipment installation is approaching its completion and qualification has already commenced,” said Ananthanarayanan.