The Indian pharma market clocked up double-digit growth of around 15 percent in 2021 (compared to three percent in 2020), driven primarily – but not only – by products related to COVID-19. Local companies performed well thanks to strong domestic demand and several, such as the five listed below, grew by over 20 percent.
Founded in 1973, Alkem is the fifth largest pharma company in India in terms of market share and brands itself as ‘India’s Generic & Specialty Pharmaceutical Forerunner’. It has 20 manufacturing units, over 800 brands, a business footprint in over 50 countries, and a 15,000-plus strong workforce.
Alkem has been ranked first in the anti-infective segment in India for over 15 years and ranks third in the gastro-intestinal and analgesic therapy segments in India. Six of its brands feature among the country’s top 100 pharma brands and the firm grew by a whopping 25 percent in India between Q2 2020 and Q2 2021.
Macleods, established in 1986, specialises in the development and manufacturing of APIs and finished dosage pharmaceutical formulations and manufactures nearly 25 billion units of finished dosages per year.
The company has an initial public offering (IPO) in the works for 2022 that could raise upwards of USD one billion, and grew by 24 percent in India between Q2 2020 and Q2 2021.
Another firm that saw rapid growth (24 percent between Q2 2020 and Q2 2021) last year was Emcure. Ranked number 12 in the Indian market, Emcure has about 9,000 staff, a presence in 70 countries, more than 350 products across various therapeutic areas, 14 manufacturing sites and five R&D centres.
The company’s primary therapeutic areas of focus are oncology, nephrology, diabetes, antiviral drugs, and gynaecology and it also produces biosimilars via its subsidiary Gennova Biopharmaceuticals.
As Emcure’s Senior VP for the Middle East, North & West Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan & Turkey, Amr El-Neklawy recently told PharmaBoardroom, “We are living in exciting times for the company, as evidenced by the work of our CEO, who is a reputable chemist. Our scientists are today spearheading the development of an mRNA vaccine out of India.”
Like Emcure, Aristo Pharma started out as a contract manufacturing organisation (CMO) before transitioning into the generics business. With 22 percent growth in the Indian market for Q2 2020 to Q2 2021, this strategy seems to have paid off.
Back in 2018, Joachim Teubner of Aristo Pharma Iberia in Spain – the group’s second largest international market – laid out his plans to build on the firm’s pain and gynaecology businesses as well as to develop into other areas, such as cardiology, CNS and dermatology.
Boasting a 20,000+ strong workforce and one of Indian pharma’s most storied names, Dr Reddy’s continues to progress, growing by 21 percent in India between Q2 2020 and Q2 2021.
Dr Reddy’s has been extremely active in bringing a portfolio of COVID-19 related products to India, including the Russian Direct Investment Fund’s Sputnik V vaccine, as well as treatments Favipiravir (Fujifilm Toyama Chemical), Remdesivir (Gilead Sciences), Molnupiravir (MSD), 2-DG (DRDO, India), and Baricitinib (Lilly).