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One Giant Leap

Cover Story Health and Wellness January 2018

One Giant Leap

Having established a strong presence in the pharmaceutical industry, Zydus Cadila is all set to take over the oncology pharmaceutical segment

One Giant Leap 1

Company: Zydus Cadila

Founder: Ramanbhai B Patel

Founded: 1952

Awards

  • Overall India Pharma Excellence Award, 2015
  • India Pharma Innovation of the Year Award, 2015
  • Grand Award for Most Innovative Company, 2015

Firsts

  • Launched Lipaglyn, India’s first New Chemical Entity
  • First in the world to launch the biosimilar of Adalimumab, used to treat autoimmune diseases

What began threescore and five years ago as a small initiative to provide quality medicines for people, has come a long way thus far. The late Ramanbhai B Patel, in his short stint as an academician, realized just what he wanted to do for his country; he wished to better the status of health, research, and education in India. A seasoned entrepreneur and one of the stalwarts of the Indian pharmaceutical industry, Ramanbhai Patel, in 1952, laid the foundation for what we today know as Zydus Cadila. His son, Pankaj R Patel, the current Chairman and CEO of Zydus Cadila, harks back to his father’s words, “My father always believed that new avenues would emerge if one has the will to discover it.” Ramanbhai Patel’s belief system has been deeply embedded in his son’s mind. And indeed, Pankaj Patel has spearheaded Zydus Cadila’s growth in all aspects. Today, it is not just one of the top pharmaceutical companies in India, but a global healthcare provider. “Since I took over the business from my father in 1995, I haven’t had a moment to squander,” says Pankaj Patel.

Today, Zydus Cadila has around 32 manufacturing sites, eight R&D centers, and more than 1,000 in-house researchers spread across 50 countries. Adding to the company’s impressive geographical presence is its financial growth. From a turnover of INR 250 crore in 1995, the company witnessed a turnover of INR 9,600 crore in FY 2016-17. With over 65 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Zydus Cadila is taking big strides towards its aim of becoming a global, research-driven pharmaceutical company by 2020. “We stated this vision in 1995 with the aim of accomplishing it by 2020,” says Dr. Sharvil P Patel, Managing Director of the company. When pharma veteran Pankaj Patel handed over the business to his son, Dr. Patel, in July 2017, he said, “I think it is right for senior people to hand over the baton to the next generation. You lead the organization by example.”

“I BELIEVE WE WILL BE THE KEY DIFFERENTIATOR IN THE HEALTHCARE MARKET. WE ARE CURRENTLY BUILDING A STRONG PRODUCT RANGE IN THE ONCOLOGY SEGMENT AND AIM TO BECOME NUMERO UNO IN THE FIELD.”
Pankaj R Patel Chairman & CEO, Zydus Cadila

At 38, Dr. Patel is the third generation, Patel, to head Zydus Cadila, and one among India’s youngest top pharmaceutical executives. He aims to double the company’s revenue within the next five years. The only Indian pharmaceutical company to have launched its own New Chemical Entity in the country back in 2013, Zydus Cadila has been in the limelight for all the right reasons. It recently received final approval from the US FDA for its breast cancer drug, Tamoxifen Citrate tablets, its 165th drug to get US FDA approval. “As a team, we are honored to have received the Overall India Pharma Excellence Award and the India Pharma Innovation of the Year Award from the Centre’s Department of Pharmaceuticals,” beams Pankaj Patel. The acquisition of Sentynl Therapeutics Inc. (a US-based pharma company specialized in marketing analgesics) and the launch of VaxiFlu-4—India’s first, and the world’s second Tetravalent Inactivated Influenza vaccine for seasonal flu—are two other prominent achievements of 2017. “Sentinel Therapeutics specializes in sourcing and marketing niche analgesics,” says Pankaj Patel. “This acquisition opens a new business avenue for us in the specialty market in the US.” In tune with its founder’s vision of breaking new ground in healthcare, research, and education, Zydus Cadila is actively making a difference to society. Its CSR programme, Zydus Srishti, has three core functional areas, namely Swaasthya, Shodh, and Shiksha. “Through the Ramanbhai Foundation, we keep these initiatives alive,” says Dr. Patel.

IN AN EFFORT TO MAKE EDUCATION AND HEALTHCARE ACCESSIBLE ACROSS GEOGRAPHIC BOUNDARIES, ZYDUS CADILA HAS PROPOSED TO SET UP A MEDICAL COLLEGE AT RURAL DAHOD, IN COLLABORATION WITH THE GUJARAT GOVERNMENT.

As part of Swaasthya, the company conducts cancer awareness camps and screening programmes in collaboration with the Gujarat Cancer Society, Ahmedabad. Under its research umbrella, Shodh hosts a premium research forum, The Ramanbhai Foundation International Research Symposium, which brings together industry and academic experts, scientists and researchers to share insights into drug discovery and pharmaceutical research. In an effort to make education and healthcare accessible across geographic boundaries, Zydus Cadila has proposed to set up a medical college at rural Dahod, in collaboration with the Gujarat government. Talking about the company’s future plans, Dr Patel sounds optimistic. “I believe we will be the key differentiator in the healthcare market,” he says. “We are currently building a strong product range in the oncology segment and aim to become numero uno in the field.” Adds Pankaj Patel, who believes that healthcare in India is all about accessibility and affordability: “Taking into consideration the high incidence of cancer in India, we are betting big on oncology by creating a strong product pipeline.” There is a wave of change sweeping over the sphere of cancer care in India, and Zydus Cadila seems to be at the forefront of this change

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