Glenmark Pharmaceuticals is a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Mumbai, India that was founded in 1977 by Gracias Saldanha as a generic drug and active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturer; he named the company after his two sons. The company initially sold its products in India, Russia, and Africa. The company went public in India in 1999, and used some of the proceeds to build its first research facility. Saldanha’s son Glenn took over as CEO in 2001, having returned to India after working at PricewaterhouseCoopers. By 2008 Glenmark was the fifth-biggest pharmaceutical company in India.
By 2011 the founder of the company was one of the richest men in India, and Glenmark had worldwide sales of $778 million, a 37% increase over the last year’s sales; the growth was driven by Glenmark’s entry into the US and European generics markets.
In the mid-2010s the generics industry in general began transitioning to the end of an era of giant patent cliffs in the pharmaceutical industry; patented drugs with sales of around $28 billion were set to come off patent in 2018, but in 2019 only about $10 billion in revenue was set to open for competition, and less the next year. Companies in the industry responded with consolidation or trying to generate new, patented drugs.
Glenn Saldanha took the company down the path of seeking innovation, which was controversial within the company and with shareholders. The company focused on new drugs and biosimilars in the fields of cancer, dermatology and respiratory diseases, which it sought to monetize by partnering with big pharma companies. In 2016 it had four such drugs in clinical trials. For the financial year 2016–2017 its sales were around 81 billion INR (ca. $1.25 billion), making it the fourth-biggest Indian pharmaceutical company.