Ajanta Pharma Bets On India, US Markets To Beat African Tenders Slowdown

Drug maker Ajanta Pharma, which saw a sharp dip in its African institutional business, is focusing on domestic branded business and US to drive growth in the coming years.

The company, a major player in anti-malarial drugs in Africa, saw its business decline by 49 percent in FY19 compared to the previous year due to softening of tender business. The Africa malaria tender business contributed 18.6 percent to overall revenues in FY18, dropped to 9.7 percent in FY19.

The company said the long-term outlook on anti-malarial tender business will remain uncertain with contracting allocation by funding bodies. Ajanta Pharma was the first generic company in anti-malaria institutional business for Artimether-Lumefantrine combination in Africa.

Multilateral agencies that fund anti-malaria initiatives are cutting back on funds and turning towards preventive measures, like sponsoring bed nets over drugs. The company has guided the Africa institutional business to contribute around Rs 160 crore in FY20.

Ajanta’s sales declined 3.5 percent YoY to Rs 2,055.4 crore in FY19. The African business contributed about 26 percent of those revenues.

“While this is the first annual decline of revenue for Ajanta over the last 15 years, we remain confident of future opportunities with our carefully selected product pipeline for the generics market in US and brandedgenerics in India and other emerging markets,” said Yogesh M. Agrawal, Managing Director and Rajesh M. Agrawal Joint Managing Director of Ajanta Pharma in their FY19 annual report.

Meanwhile, the company said it was focusing on India, Asia and US to drive growth.

It’s India business contributes a little over one-third of revenues, which grew 16 percent in FY19 against the industry growth of 11 percent. During the year, the company launched 28 products in the branded generic space. Over the years, Ajanta had built an impressive pipeline of medications for eye care. The company is also focusing on chronic therapies such as blood pressure and diabetes. Ajanta’s Met XL features among top-200 products.

Further, the US generic business grew 46 percent Y-o-Y on low base and back of eight launches including muscle relaxant drug Silodosin in FY19.

“US generics industry saw some stability after last year’s sharp price erosion, but with increasing cost of servicing that market continues to pose challenges for Indian players,” the company said and added that it will withstand these challenges with 10-12 new filings and 8-10 launches every year.

The company has 27 approved ANDAs in the US, of which 25 are actively marketed. The company filed 13 ANDAs in the US in FY19 and guided to file 10-12 products, with 8-10 approvals each year. – Moneycontrol

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