Cornerstone Ramps up Pharma Practice in India

The Life Sciences and Healthcare practice of Cornerstone International Group is gearing up for increased activity in India.   Within only a few months of its formation, the team in India has added three senior level executive search resources effective January 1, 2017.

India’s pharmaceutical market is the world’s third largest in volume and the largest provider of generic drugs.  The industry in India is expected to grow at 15% annually to reach $55 billion by 2020, significantly outpacing global industry growth of 5% over the same period.

The Life Sciences & Healthcare Practice in India is focused on Strategic Planning, Execution Support and Mergers & Acquisitions primarily in the domestic generic pharma market but with world-wide reach.   The team works with Indian pharma players for international expansion and equally with overseas companies wishing to enter the Indian market.

Key developments in the Indian pharma market include the recent acquisition of an 86% interest in Hyderabad-based Gland Pharma by Fosun Pharmaceutical of Shanghai for $1.26 billion.  The deal is the first large FDI from China in Indian manufacturing.

In another deal, Claris Life Sciences of Ahmedabad sold its generic injectable business to Baxter International for $635M.  In 2012, Claris entered into a joint venture arrangement with Japan’s Otsuka Pharma & Mitsui &Co for a consideration of $150M.

Other deals involved the acquisition in 2016 of India’s second largest dialysis care provider Sandor Nephro by Fresenius Medical Care of Germany, the world leader in the sector, for approximately $50M.

Whilst MNCs have been attracted to the Indian market, Indian majors have also been aggressively acquiring players overseas.  Last Spring, Lupin acquired Gavis, a US drug formulation developer, for approximately $880M, constituting one of the largest deals overseas by an Indian player.

Later in the year, Lupin acquired 21 generic brands from Shionogi in Japan.  Sun Pharma and Aurobindo have also expanded overseas through acquisitions.

The extraordinary growth of the global generic drug market is a primary focus of the Cornerstone Life Sciences & Healthcare practice.   China is one market, where Indian generic players have been unsuccessful and practice teams from Mumbai and Shanghai will develop an Advisory Service, which could craft an attractive entry strategy with execution help.

Market entry to Japan, Brazil and Mexico is equally attractive for Indian generic companies.

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