By Rusen Kumar
MUMBAI: Research and Development (R&D) plays crucial role in the success and contributes to sustainability of business, particularly in Pharma sector. A leading Indian multinational pharma company Wockhardt Limited has made significant advances in the pharmaceutical science and it has invested Rs. 669 Crores at 15% of total sales in Research and Development (R&D) in FY 2015-16 to enhance R&D capacities, innovation, inventing and developing new medicines.
R&D investment for the year 2014-15 was Rs 515 crores at 11.5% of total sales. Wockhard, a research based multinational has 3 R&D facilities in India, UK and USA.
“At Wockhardt, we have always believed at R&D is the key to the future. Naturally, we continue to increase our industry-leading investment in R&D as a percentage of total sales every year. In FY 2015-16, our R&D spend of Rs 669 crore at 15% of total sales is almost 30% higher than our investment in R&D of Rs 515 crore at 11.5% of total sales in FY 2014-15.”, said Dr. Habib Korakiwala, Founder Chairman & Group CEO, Wockhardt Group in a statement to the shareowners in its Annual Report 2015-16.
In the reviewed year, Wockhardt also showed improvement in getting patents for its inventions.
“This financial year, we filed 311 patents and were granted 100 patents, taking cumulative patents filed to 2,579 and patents granted to 441.”, he said.
Quoting 19th century French physiologist and medical researcher Claude Bernard’s famous statement “Art is I; science is we.”, Dr. Habib Korakiwala said, “Wockhardt will continue to focus on R&D and innovation. We will continuously seek and strive to do good, act better and do what is best for us and our stakeholders. In this endeavour, every success and every achievement, on an individual as well as on an organizational level, will be a big win.”
While addressing 13rd CII National Pharmaceutical Conclave on April 19, 2016 in New Delhi Dr. Murtaza Khorakiwala shared is vision on how the R&D should form the backbone of the Indian Pharmaceutical Industry and be the benchmark to innovate new medicines and molecules.
He further fuelled the thought of introducing a patent box mechanism for incentivising R&D that shall boost investment in the sector in India. He emphasized that the industry should take stock of the progress made in the generic space while taking into account the constraints faced in the segmate of manufacturing medical equipment.
The global pharma market continued its growth journey to become a trillion dollar industry at USD 1.07 trillion in 2015. It is expected to attain USD 1.4 trillion by 2020 with a CAGR of 4.7%. This growth will majorly flow from Branded drugs offset by loss of exclusivities in development markets. (Source: IMS Global Use of Medicines in 2020)
According to the Report, the company’s continuous strategic focus in complex research in Pharma, Biosimilars and NCE for last couple of years has started showing its positive impact on the product pipeline.
It is the complex matrix of research encompassing technology intensive generic products for oral, nasal and parenteral administration, New Drug Discovery Program and Biosimilar research that has been playing pivotal role for the company’s success and sustainability. Cross functional, highly educated, trained and stable project management team has been the core factor to success.
The company has dedicated a lot of focus, investments and initiatives to ensure that the R&D organization stays at the threshold of latest technological advancements in the areas it operates on.
Report also highlighted that during the financial year ended March 31, 2016 the Wockhardt has filed for 17 new products in US and 2 in UK. Currently for the US business, company’s pipeline includes 84 products pending to be approved by US FDA. The company has always been a trendsetter in Indian generic pharma industry with its niche NDDS products like Metoprolol ER, Divalproex ER, Tamsulosin ER which were among the first few generics in US market.
There is a global crisis of availability of antibiotics to fight growing numbers of resistant bacteria and there has been a big void in Anti Infective as relatively very few drugs have been discovered in the last decade. Wockhardt relentless focus for almost two decades in the Anti-Infective space has started showing recognition with consecutive approvals for QIDP in quick succession, report highlighted.
(Rusen Kumar is the Editor at India CSR. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)