Innobic, Aztiq acquire Lotus Pharmaceutical, Adalvo for $475m, eye emerging Asean markets
Innobic (Asia) Co Ltd, a subsidiary of national oil and gas conglomerate PTT Plc which it co-owns with Aztiq HK Ltd, recently acquired Alvogen Emerging Markets Holdings Ltd (AEMH), a major shareholder of Lotus Pharmaceutical Ltd and the sole owner of Adalvo Ltd.
Both the acquired companies are leading pharmaceutical and patent trading firms with networks of representatives worldwide.
Under the US$475 million (THB16.46 billion) acquisition deal, Innobic became the largest shareholder of Lotus Pharmaceutical with a 37 per cent stake, and of Adalvo with a 60 per cent stake. The acquisition aims to increase the strength of both Lotus Pharmaceutical and Adalvo as world leaders in pharmaceutical and patent trading industries, as well as increase Thailand’s accessibility to drugs of international standard.
Buranin Rattanasombat, chairman of Innobic and senior executive vice president for innovation and new ventures at PTT, said that Aztiq has a long-established presence in healthcare and drug manufacturing, which will help drive the businesses of Lotus Pharmaceutical and Adalvo forward and enable Innobic to manufacture high-quality drugs at affordable prices.
“Thailand’s drug market has an approximate value of THB200 billion to THB250 billion per year with continuous average annual growth of 3-5 per cent,” he said. “Although the sales of drugs for communicable diseases are greater than that for NCD [non-communicable diseases], the market for NCD drugs is gaining momentum as Thailand is entering an ageing society. Elders are the age group with the highest risk of having NCDs, while available drugs in the market still have high prices.”
“Thailand is importing over 70 percent of drugs used in the country, and less than 30 per cent of drugs are manufactured domestically. Mostly domestically drug manufacturing (90%) used imported API. Furthermore, in the future, local drug factories will be required to implement GMP [good manufacturing practice] standards, which will prompt them to seek higher technology,” he pointed out. “The acquisition will therefore help increase the country’s capacity in manufacturing affordable drugs using internationally recognised technology, especially for NCDs such as cancer and diabetes. This will also expand our market penetration capability at the regional level, as Asean nations are also entering an ageing society.”
“Having a partnership with Lotus Pharmaceutical will enable Innobic to receive knowledge transfer of world-class drug manufacturing techniques, as Lotus Pharmaceutical has been manufacturing drugs for not only Asian countries, but also for the European and American markets that require higher pharmaceutical standards,” added Buranin.
After the acquisition, Lotus Pharmaceutical will serve as Innobic’s main manufacturing base, while Adalvo will be responsible for trading of drugs and related patents through its global network. This partnership will put Innobic at the forefront of global drug manufacturing companies in a short time while being backed by a comprehensive sales network and growth opportunities in Asian, European and American markets.
“We hope that the partnership will boost our expertise in the pharmaceutical industry, especially in biosimilar drugs which are a new innovation that require modern supporting technology,” said Buranin.
“Thailand has several capable medical professionals, but to spearhead our researches in the global market we will need a strong coach and partner with comprehensive manufacturing, researching, and marketing network. With this acquisition, Innobic aims to become the country’s leader in the Life Science industry, which is one of the 10 target industries under the government’s Thailand 4.0 policy. We will also continue to invest in medical-related technology, including research and development in the field of molecular genome, mutation, and medical equipment.”
Robert Wessman, chairman of Lotus Pharmaceutical and founder of Aztiq, said that the Taiwan-based Lotus Pharmaceutical has always been focusing on manufacturing drugs that could save people’s lives, as well as pioneering several pharmaceutical standards that are recognised in Asia, Europe and the Americas.
“We realised that this partnership is an opportunity for us to manufacture drugs that have been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency for Asian markets at affordable prices,” he said. “It would also make Thailand a central hub for long-term pharmaceutical investment in Asean, as well as strengthen the country’s economy through high-quality drugs affordable for everyone and an opportunity to penetrate other markets in Asia, Europe and the Americas.”