Stelis to sprout sterile injectables arm again as Strides retakes biosimilar firm
Photo Credit: VCCircle

Strides Pharma Science Ltd on Friday said it will pump $40 million (Rs 284.6 crore) more into Stelis Biopharma Pvt. Ltd to regain a controlling stake and thrust the biosimilar company into sterile injectables once more.

The proposed investment and "pending equity from other partners" is expected to help Stelis to break even at the operational level in the next 18 months, Mumbai-based listed Strides said in a stock-market disclosure.

The proposed infusion comes after Strides last year said it will invest $15 million in Stelis as part of the biosimilar firm’s Series B funding round worth $100 million (Rs 710 crore). Strides has so far invested $35 million for a 43% ownership in Stelis.

As part of Stelis' Series B fundraise of $100 million, other existing shareholders also took part -- Jordan-based investment firm GMS Holdings and Tenshi Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd, a company set up by Strides’ promoters.

Stelis was earlier a fully-owned subsidiary of Strides Pharma, which was called Strides Shasun Ltd. In 2014, Strides Pharma agreed to sell a 25.1% stake in Stelis to GMS for $21.9 million.

The portfolio of Stelis includes biosimilars produced from microbial production technology. It also offers high-end contract development and manufacturing organization services covering end-to-end biopharmaceutical value chain.

Strides, which primarily focuses on niche finished dosage formulations, has global manufacturing units in India, Singapore, Italy, Kenya and the US.

The company has been active in making acquisitions in the past few months.

Earlier this month, Strides acquired a majority stake in Switzerland-based generic products and over-the-counter drug supplier Fairmed Healthcare AG.

Last month, it acquired a manufacturing unit in Florida from Micelle BioPharma Inc to expand its presence in the US.

In July, Strides said it is entering China by forming a joint venture with Sun Moral International Ltd, a wholly-owned unit of Chinese firm Sihuan Pharmaceutical Holdings Group Ltd.

In January, the Indian drugmaker agreed to sell its Australian business and buy companies in the US and Canada, in a bid to reshuffle its overseas portfolio and cut debt.

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