Indian pharma major Dr. Reddy's Laboratories (DRL) is all set to invest nearly Rs. 4.5 billion ($100 million) as part of their expansion drive in Andhra Pradesh, the company's home state.
'As part of our plan, $100 million will be invested within the next 18 months for increasing our capacity in the field of formulations, Active Pharmaceuticals Ingredients (API) and Custom Pharmaceutical Business (CPB),' said Satish Reddy, managing director of Dr. Reddy's Laboratories.
Reddy, also the company's chief operating officer, said they would utilise part of the funds raised by issuing shares.
'The company's expansion will take place in their current establishments at Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam. Besides, we are also looking at setting up two new plants in Andhra Pradesh as part our Special Economic Zone plan,' Reddy told IANS at the New Zealand High Commission here.
Reddy was in the capital Thursday to announce the launch of Polypill - a first-of-its-kind tablet to tackle heart diseases, in the second half of 2007.
The new medicine is a cocktail of four drugs and has jointly been developed by experts at DRL and Auckland University, New Zealand. It is currently under trial in India.
India records nearly 2.8 million deaths a year from cardio-vascular diseases.
He however, refused to divulge details of the investment for the two new plants.
'We have received approval from the central government in principle, but it would be too early to give details of the investment amount.'
Raghu Cidambi, advisor to DRL, said: 'As per our plan, the company will roll out eight billion generic tablets per annum by the end of 2007 and the capacity will be further enhanced to 16 billion tablets per year by early 2009.'
'This drug would reduce the heart attack risk by almost 65 percent as it is capable of reducing cholesterol level and control blood pressure. In India, our focus is to reach the masses by making it affordable. The cost of a monthly course (30 tablets) will cost only Rs.100,' Reddy said.
DRL recorded a mammoth sale of $602 billion in 2005 and it's the first drug company of Asia excluding Japan to list in the New York Stock Exchange in 2001. The 22-year-old company had started funding research in 1993 with an investment of Rs. 60 million.
'Polypill, a product of our mission to reach the masses not in India but across the globe. The four-in-one drug will help thousands of people to people in their effort to tackle on of the dreaded disease - Cardiovascular ailment,' Reddy added.