Strides Pharma hires Cipla executive as CEO as founder steps aside
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Strides Pharma Science Ltd said it has recruited R Ananthanarayanan from pharmaceuticals major Cipla Ltd as its chief executive officer and managing director.

Ananthanarayanan replaces Arun Kumar with immediate effect, Strides said in a stock market disclosure. Kumar will pass on his active responsibilities at Strides by March 31 and assume charge as the company’s chairman.

Kumar, who founded the company about 30 years ago, said it was the “right time” for him to step aside. “I will now… dedicate time to Strides’ newly announced investments in biotech and sterile injectables,” he said.

Prior to Cipla, Ananthanarayanan was at Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd, where he was president & CEO of global APIs, biologics, and medis generics B2B division. He has earlier held leadership positions in other global and domestic pharmaceutical companies such as Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Piramal Healthcare, Galpharm International, UK (which was acquired by Perrigo Group), and Zydus Cadila.

Ananthanarayanan is a graduate in Pharmaceutical Sciences and earned his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Technology from the University of Mumbai, India.

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

The drugmaker was active in making acquisitions last year. It acquired a majority stake in Switzerland-based generic products and over-the-counter drug supplier Fairmed Healthcare AG and bought a manufacturing unit in Florida from Micelle BioPharma Inc to expand its presence in the US. It also purchased companies in the US and Canada, in a bid to reshuffle its overseas portfolio and cut debt, while it agreed to sell its Australian business.

Last year, it also entered China by forming a joint venture with Sun Moral International Ltd, a wholly-owned unit of Chinese firm Sihuan Pharmaceutical Holdings Group Ltd.

In 2019, Strides also 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.

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