Date: 25-Nov-2019

First China made biosimilar for breast cancer to be out soon

Aurobindo Pharma expects to become a debt free company in the three next years barring the amount it is spending on acquisition of Sandoz products, a senior official of the city-based company has said. In September last year, the USD three billion drug maker said its US subsidiary entered into an agreement to acquire commercial operations and three manufacturing facilities in America from Sandoz Inc, USA, a Novartis Division, for USD 900 million. "During the year, we will reduce between USD 150 million to USD 200 million debt, and we have already achieved that..On the long-term front, based on the experience, which we had in the last two or three quarters, and we are targeting to achieve a zero debt in the next three years. That's what we are all seeing on the existing business... without considering Sandoz," Santhanam Subramanian, Aurobindo Chief Financial officer said in a recent earnings call. The company's net debt decreased by USD 71 million quarter-on-quarter to USD 522 million at the end of September 2019 against USD 593 million at the end of June 2019. The majority of the company's debt is denominated in foreign currency. The cash and bank balance was at USD 305 million. Replying to query, Narayanan Govindarajan, Aurobindo Pharma's managing director, said they expect Federal Trade Commission's nod for the acquisition of the Sandoz products and three facilities by next month or January. The acquisition will add approximately 300 products including projects in development as well as commercial and manufacturing capabilities in the US, complementing and expanding the group's portfolio and pipeline and the portfolio is expected to generate over USD 900 million in sales for the first 12 months after completion of the transaction for Aurobindo, the drug firm had earlier said. Govindarajan said the company is expecting re- inspection of its three manufacturing facilities, of which one received warning letter and two others received "official action indicated (OAI)" from the US Food and Drug Administration. "The inspection should happen before March or by March-April time line is what our best estimate is. And we are preparing ourselves to ensure that the inspection goes well," the official said.