Drugmaker Piramal Healthcare sees its critical care, or inhalation anaesthetics, business assuming key significance and becoming a major source of growth.
The Mumbai-based company aims at taking major strides in inhalation anaesthetics, which is estimated to have a potential of about $1 billion globally.
Inhalation anaesthetics are gasses that possess anaesthetic qualities like halothane, isoflurane, desflurane, sevoflurane and enflurane.
According to chief operating officer N Santhanam, the company expects a growth of about 20-30% in this area in the future years.
"By March 2010, we expect to have revenues of about $100 million from this business. We have all the five products in this area and so growth should be high."
In 2004, Piramal, then Nicholas Piramal India, had acquired the inhalation anaesthetics business of the UK-based Rhodia Organique Fine Ltd for about Rs 63 crore, providing it access to two products—halothane and isoflurane.
In early 2009, the company acquired New York based generic inhalation anaesthetics player Minrad International for about $40 million, getting access to enflurane, desflurane, and sevoflurane.
According to an analyst with a broking house in Mumbai, of the approximately $1 billion potential this segment carries, Piramal would be targeting a market size of $400-500 million. "Inhalation anesthetics is a big business in the US and Europe and Piramal will leverage the equity of Minrad International in growing its share."
The US-based Abbott Laboratories and Baxter Healthcare are the only other companies to have a presence in the inhalation anaesthetics business, making Piramal, post the Minrad and Rhodia acquisitions, the third player in the fray.
According to an analyst with a securities firm, Piramal has secured contracts with veterinary distributors which will help in securing higher growth going forward.
"Limited competition will provide the company with a larger playing field," said the analyst from the securities firm.
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