Sandeep Bane
Director General
Accord Pharma
View from the Top

Aggressive Growth for Indian Pharma

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 13:27

Q: Accord Farma promotes itself as a fast-growing generics company. What is your growth rate and how will you sustain it?

A: We work in specialty medicines, oncology mostly. We grew by 40 percent in 2016 in Mexico and we intend to grow by a similar margin next year through our biotechnology facility in Toluca, which will begin operating in July-August 2017. We are adding new molecules, which will ensure our continued growth and we expect biotechnological products to boost this further, with a 30-40 percent year-on-year increase expected in that segment. The biotechnological facility will produce mostly oncological products. Around 15 percent of our revenue comes from biotechnological products.

We are among the top three companies for oncological products in Mexico in the private generics segment. We sell seven or eight molecules to the government and oncology is our core business here. We are not actively seeking to increase government sales — we want 33 percent of our business to go to the government and we are maintaining this percentage. The advantage of this strategy is that as government business is acquired year by year, even if we lose a tender we will not suffer that much.

Q: What is the strategy behind manufacturing solely your oncological line in Mexico?

A: We import around 80 percent of our products but we know that the future also lies in manufacturing locally. We chose to produce oncological products because those require a smaller manufacturing facility with high potency, while other products are sold in high volumes, requiring a large plant, which involves high costs. Therefore, we are choosing niche products to manufacture locally and we can go down the contract-manufacturing (CM) route for others. We already manufacture four oral generics this way and we will launch four patented products next year that we will manufacture in Toluca.

Q: Accord Farma is present in over 70 countries. How important is Mexico for its global sales?

A: Mexico contributes around 1-1.5 percent to Accord’s US$2 billion global sales. There are plans to increase this, which is why we have invested in the biotechnology plant here. In the next three years, we will add around 80 products to our portfolio, from 62 now, and we expect the Mexican branch to be a MX$1 billion (US$55 million) company by 2021. These new products will be across generics, oncology and our hospital line. The latter already includes 10 products and we will be adding 20-30 products. The hospital products include our anesthesia line and we have just launched two new anesthetics, with three more coming by June 2017. Although our hospital line does include some niche products, we will be focusing on high-volume products because they will boost our presence and help us grow rapidly. In oncology, we focus on oral therapy and hematological injectable products because there is less competition in this market.

Q: What are the company’s plans to enter other Latin American markets?

A: We have already selected a portfolio of around 15 products to be sold in Latin America. In the near future, Accord Farma will be exporting to most Latin American countries. We will increase our plant’s capacity in the first half of 2017 by 30-40 percent and by 2018 at least 10 molecules will be exported to at least two to three countries. By the time this is completed, stability studies will have been carried out and we will be fully ready to export. We will rely more on CM but if after 2018 we require more plants then we will build them. A plant can be built in a year.

Q: What have you learned from other generics markets and how is that applied to Mexico?

A: Actually, many of the strategies we implemented in Mexico were copied elsewhere. Globally, the company is known for CNS drugs, which we did not implement here. We chose oncology, which other countries are now copying and globally there is now a large pipeline of oncological products.