India startup Eywa enters US pharma market

India startup Eywa enters US pharma market

10:00 AM, 26th August 2019
Eywa Pharma logo

MUMBAI, INDIA: As India’s largest drugmakers stare at an uncertain future in the US, a small startup funded by Chennai-based Shriram Group and Eight Roads Ventures (of Fidelity Investments) thinks that it has spotted a market that has remained unseen by leading pharma companies.

Eywa Pharma, based in Chennai, India and with offices in New Jersey, is the new pharma kid on the block that is entering the US market — considered the world’s largest, with products that have a total value of $1 billion.

“When we set up our company, we knew that the customer base in US was consolidating, but what we hadn’t considered was the extent of consolidation that was setting in among generic companies. This is where we saw an opportunity for smaller players to come in,” said Srinivasan S, cofounder of Eywa Pharma.

Eywa founders were earlier part of US drugmaker Mylan before they took on entrepreneurship.

And that’s why Eywa, despite its limited portfolio of 26 filed applications across therapy areas of which 13 have been approved, is confident of cracking the market. The competition for these products includes just 3-4 players.

Eywa’s business model is not about becoming a licencing firm, but rather a front-end generic drugmaker. According to its founders, this was done in case the firm had to add products quickly in the market; otherwise customers wouldn’t show interest if they launch just one or two products.

The firm’s optimism is startling as most trends show that there is a slowdown in the US for generic drugmakers. A report by consulting firm IQVIA stated that despite the generics market growing from $47 billion in 2012 to $71 billion in 2017, the annual growth rate has been constantly shrinking — from 22.8% in 2013 to 0.8% in 2016.

“The trend is likely to continue for the next few years with even negative growth rates before the market stabilizes and comes back on track by around 2020,” IQVIA said.

The consultancy firm has also warned that while all generic companies are vulnerable to pricing pressure, it believes that the smaller sized players and new entrants will be most affected due to their vanilla portfolios.

The lure of the US markets for Indian generic makers is an old one. After all with no price control and Indian companies ability to churn out generic drug has made them leaders in the drug formulation business. Companies like Cipla which was an India focused company five years ago decided to enter the US market with acquisition.

Mankind Pharma too in 2016 decided to enter the US market with an investment of Rs 300 crore.

Source: Economic Times



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