Nicholas Piramal is to acquire two brands Omnatex (cefotaxime) and Haemaccel (a polymer from degraded gelatin). While the former is used to treat the respiratory, genito-urinary infections the latter is a parenteral nutrition brand.
Nicholas Piramal Limited is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in India, commanding a combined market share of 5%. The company has a strong presence in anti-bacterial, cardiovascular, opthalmics, vitamins, biotek and antacids. It is the only Indian firm that is a part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's industrial liaison programme.
Hoechst has been restructuring its brand portfolio primarily since it has 30 new products lined up for introduction to the Indian market till 2002. The brands, which the company has sold faced a lot of competition and were reportedly not yielding a sizeable profit. The sale implies the increasing focus of Hoechst on a lesser number of brands from the existing brands and the brands, which are slated to come in. Three of the brands that the company has introduced are Allegra (an anti-allergic), Tavanic (for treating respiratory tract infections) and Amaryl (anti-infective).
The company has also sold its plant in Mulund where Haemaccel was manufactured. The products weeded out by Hoechst include Cidoresp, Cidomex and Synastat. Almost 60% of the company’s revenues accrue from drugs that are under the Drug Price Control Order. These include drugs such as Combiflam and Avil. For the newer drugs that the company plans to introduce, it will in all probability source the bulk drug from the parent.
For Nicholas Piramal it means a further entry of two brands into its stable. While the consideration at which the brands were taken over is not known the assessment is that they have been acquired at not more than Rs.300 million. The company had earlier bought out the Mulund plant ostensibly for the real estate. Whether the company would continue manufacturing Haemaccel in the plant remains to be seen.
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