Sun Pharmaceutical to buy minority stake in Israeli startup Tarsius
Photo Credit: Reuters

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, India’s biggest drugmaker, said on Monday it will acquire an 18.75% stake in Israel's Tarsius Pharma Ltd for $3 million (Rs 21.5 crore) in cash.

The acquisition does not need regulatory approvals and will be completed by 15 September, Sun Pharma said in a stock market disclosure. It will make the acquisition through a wholly owned subsidiary, it added.

Tarsius, which was founded in February 2016, is an early-stage research and development company focusing on the development of drug candidates in the ophthalmology segment.

Sun Pharma's ophthalmology segment accounted for 2% of the company's revenue in the last financial year ended 31 March 2018, according to the company's annual report.

Cardiology contributed the largest to the company's revenue with 18%. This was followed by other therapeutic segments such as neuro-psychiatry, gastroenterology, anti-infectives and diabetology.

Sun Pharma's Israel business had come into focus in 2010, when it acquired a controlling stake in Taro Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, after a three-year battle for control.

International markets contribute 68% to the sales of the Indian drugmaker, which owns 42 manufacturing units in India, the US, Russia, Canada, Hungary, Israel, Bangladesh, Romania, Nigeria, South Africa, Malaysia and Australia.

Sun Pharma's revenue fell 14% to Rs 26,100 crore in the fiscal year through March 2018 due to a decline in its sales in the US, the largest market for Indian generic drugmakers. 

The company has been picking up stakes in overseas companies in the past few years.

In August last year, it acquired a 15.9% stake in US-based bio-pharmaceutical company Krystal Biotech Inc for $7 million

Last year, the Indian company agreed to acquire Canadian pharmaceuticals firm Thallion Pharmaceuticals Inc for 2.7 million Canadian dollars (around $2 million).

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