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BW Businessworld

Aspirations Turn Reality

The major focus areas for Laurus Labs are anti-retroviral, hepatitis C and oncology drugs. Continuous innovation is the lifeblood of a company's business

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Laurus Labs is a multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company headquartered in Hyderabad with its manufacturing plants located at Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. Its broad areas of focus are active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), generic formulations, custom synthesis and biotechnology. It works with all the top 10 generic pharmaceutical companies in the world. It sells its APIs in 56 countries.  

The major focus areas for Laurus Labs are anti-retroviral, hepatitis C and oncology drugs. Continuous innovation is the lifeblood of company's business. Therefore, it undertakes dedicated R&D in areas that have significant growth potential. The company has filed 315 patents, and owns 177 patents. It has also commercialised over 60 products since inception across three distinct business units: generics API, generics FDF and synthesis. 

During the period under review (FY18-FY22), Laurus Labs’ income and profit-after-tax (PAT) rose impressively at nearly 24 per cent CAGR and around 50 per cent CAGR, respectively, winning it the second spot in its category of fastest growing companies list. 

In FY22, the company's financial performance highlights its progress and drives confidence for the future. The revenue for the company grew three per cent to Rs 4,936 crore, driven by impressive growth in contract development and manufacturing company (CDMO) business and healthy finished dosage forms (FDF) performance. EBITDA came at Rs 1,436 crore with sustained EBITDA margins of 29 per cent as better mix offset negative operating leverage. The formulation division reported revenues of Rs 1,880 crore in 2021-22, up 13 per cent over the previous fiscal.  

Diversification of revenues 

FY22 was another year of rapid change for the pharma industry and the world. During the year, the company invested significantly in capacity creation and steadily delivered on diversification of revenues along with its R&D capabilities with minimal supply chain impact. "We also successfully forayed into disruptive CAR-T technology by investing in Immuno Act for a substantial minority stake. This investment should significantly help in bringing innovative and more affordable medicines," said Satyanarayana Chava, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Laurus Labs. The investment in ImmunoACT is part of the larger strategy to strengthen the biologics business, and this provides access and entry into an emerging field of research, he added. "We have emerged as one of the leading pharma companies on the back of an expansive product portfolio spanning multiple therapeutic areas," said Chava. 

The company has signed and will be part of the MPP licence for Pfizer’s oral Covid drug. This will increase the broad access in LMIC (low and lower middle income) markets. Momentum in the synthesis business remains strong, said Chava. “We have scaled up our capex for 2022-23 and 2023-24 to cater to future growth across segments,” he added.  

During the year, it commissioned 1 billion tablets capacity, with plans to commission another 4 billion tablets capacity by end of first quarter of FY23 thus doubling the FDF division’s capacity to 10 billion tablets per year. 

Laurus Labs is one of the world’s leading suppliers of anti-retroviral APIs and intermediates and has developed several products in the anti-diabetic, cardiovascular and gastroenterology therapeutic areas. It is adding more capacities into the high potent areas. "Our aim is to strengthen further our leadership in some of these oncology and high potent molecules. Over the long term, plans to enter the other API’s (diabetology and cardiology) would drive the growth of the APIs,” said Chava.  

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Magazine 8 October 2022