Sun Pharma’s R&D investment around Rs 2,000 cr in FY20

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd invested around Rs 2,000 crore in research and development (R&D) in the last financial year (2019-20).

In his message to the shareholders, in the company’s Annual Report, Managing Director Dilip Shanghvi said that R&D is imperative for any pharmaceutical company’s future and its focus is to continue investing in R&D to develop differentiated generics and innovative specialty products.

“Our global generic business requires a constant flow of new products, and hence R&D capabilities to develop such products and meet the individual requirements of each market are very important,” he said.

He also noted that R&D is also vital for strengthening the company’s global specialty pipeline.

“It is a key determinant of the future growth and profitability of the specialty initiative. We expect to continue to invest in specialty R&D in the coming years as we progress further in building the specialty business,” Shanghvi said.

“Our R&D investments for the year were approximately Rs 20 billion. We continue to be disciplined in identifying future R&D projects for the US generics market and the focus is on developing differentiated generics. Investments for developing the long-term specialty pipeline are expected to continue.”

The MD also said that Sun Pharmaceutical’s strategy of developing the specialty business as an additional growth engine has started delivering, with a gradual ramp-up in specialty revenues. The momentum is likely to continue over the next few years although the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns may throw up some uncertainties in the near-term, he added.

The specialty business is also helping the company to move up the pharmaceutical value chain and bring in more innovation to its business, he said, adding that the company has invested significant resources over the past few years in building this business. It is now focusing on commercial execution to ensure that future cash flows justify these significant investments.

Noting that generics will continue to be an important part of the overall healthcare management globally, he said: “Sun Pharma’s strong positioning in the global generics industry and continued investments for the future will ensure that it remains a prominent player in this space.”