Japanese drug maker Eisai to expand Vizag plant


Eisai Pharmaceuticals plans to expand its manufacturing plant in Visakhapatnam and set up an innovation centre to support its new drug development programmes.

The Japanese drug maker sells cancer and central nervous disorder drugs in India. It has a manufacturing unit in Visakhapatnam (Vizag) which largely caters for export. The company is now expanding its presence in the country with new product launches and is investing in plant expansion.

"We have a facility to manufacture two billion capsules annually. We are ramping up our active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) manufacturing unit and developing an innovation centre for new formulations at Visakhapatnam," said Sanjit Singh Lamba, managing director of Eisai Pharmaceuticals India.

The plant has steadily expanded its research and development capabilities and has supplied APIs for two under development drugs to treat hepatic disorders and fungal infections.

On Tuesday, the company launched its first in class anti-epileptic drug Fycompa. The drug was approved by the Drug Controller General of India last year and is already sold in 55 countries.

"Nearly 12 million patients in India suffer from epilepsy and 95 per cent of these patients do not receive adequate treatment. Epilepsy has been a therapeutic focus area for Eisai and we will continue to use our strengths in research and development to create drugs that will improve and enhance the quality of life," he added.

The company is targeting Rs 20 crore in sales from the drug over the next three years, said Saumil Mody, vice president-commercial operations with Eisai Pharmaceuticals.

Earlier this year, it launched thyroid cancer drug Lenvima and later this year will launch new combinations of Methycobal used to treat anaemia. Methycobal is distributed in the domestic market by Wockhardt.