Aptuit (Greenwich, CT), a contract drug-development company, has been actively building its capabilities through a series of key acquisitions. Its latest move is the formation of a new entity, Aptuit Laurus (Hyderabad, India), which Aptuit formed through a phased acquisition with Laurus Labs Limited (Hyderabad) in June. The deal positions Aptuit in the growing market for pharmaceutical outsourcing in India.
Aptuit Laurus targets pharmaceutical outsourcing in India
Aptuit Laurus will be comprised of a 160,000-ft2 research and development facility in Hyderabad, a large-scale manufacturing plant for drug substances that it is currently under construction in Pharma City, Vishakhapatnam, and Aptuit's existing informatics development and support group in Bangalore. The Pharma City plant is scheduled for completion in 2008."We have been interested in investing in India for over 10 years," says Michael Griffith, CEO of Aptuit, adding that in Laurus, Aptuit found a company that will meet the pharmaceutical industry's demand for outsourcing services in India and Asia. "We see the Indian pharmaceutical outsourcing industry increasing its share of the global market from roughly 10% today to as much as 50% during the next five to 10 years," adds Griffith.
To further underscore the growing importance of Asia in the pharmaceutical outsourcing market, Griffith points to potential shifts. "If you look at a list of leading global providers of pharmaceutical services today, we think that fewer than 20% of those companies will be on that list 10 years from now," he says. "We think that many of the leaders on that list will be replaced with leadership coming out of Asia."
Aptuit says it plans to invest approximately $100 million during the next four years to build upon Aptuit Laurus's development, manufacturing, and informatics capabilities with the addition of a complete suite of development services including: medicinal chemistry, preclinical, solid-state chemistry, consulting, clinical packaging and logistics, Phase I/IIa research , and large-scale dosage-form manufacturing. When these investments are completed, Aptuit Laurus will mirror the capabilities of services offered by Aptuit in North America and Europe. In addition, the new company plans to offer expanded services in discovery and clinical research and access to larger-scale manufacturing at the back-end of the product development life cycle.
Satyanarayana Chava, founder and CEO of Laurus Labs, was named president of Aptuit Laurus in June 2007 with the formation of the new company. Chava founded Laurus with two colleagues in late 2005. Chava was formerly chief operating officer of Matrix Laboratories (Secunderabad, India).
In August, Andhra University in Visakhapatnam, India and Aptuit Laurus signed a memorandum of understanding to mutually collaborate in the areas of research, training, consultancy work, and technology management.
Aptuit builds through acquisitions
The venture with Laurus to form Aptuit Laurus is the latest of a series of deals made by Aptuit to strengthen its drug-development services portfolio. Since its founding as Global Pharmaceutical Development in 2004, Aptuit has built its business largely through acquisitions with each deal positioning the company in a given aspect of the drug-development continuum. Since 2005, the company completed six acquisitions as follows: