French pharma major Sanofi is investing Rs 460 crore to set up a new insulin facility in Hyderabad and augment its capacity to produce Insuman, its human insulin product. The new facility will have the capacity to manufacture up to 60 million cartridges a year and will enable Shantha Biotechnics, the wholly owned subsidiary of Sanofi in India, to cater to emerging markets, including India.
Located in Muppireddipalli on the outskirts of Hyderabad, it will be Sanofi’s second plant apart from the one in Frankfurt, Germany. Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao laid the foundation stone for the facility on January 29.
According to Harish Iyer, CEO, Shantha Biotechnics, the construction of the 13,500 sq m building will begin immediately. “It will be operational by 2019,” he said. The new facility, Iyer said, is being set up under technology transfer within Sanofi. It will enable Shantha Biotechnics to make insulin in cartridge format for the first time. The insulin formulation will be made in the new facility but the bulk (powder) to make the product will continue to be imported from Germany.
Shantha Biotechnics was acquired by Sanofi in 2009. It was a company founded by KI Varaprasad Reddy, who is currently its non-executive chairman. A press release put out by Shantha Biotechnics says that while Sanofi’s Frankfurt facility will continue to manufacture Insuman, the new facility will address local demand. In the long run, it could even emerge as Sanofi’s injectables’ hub for emerging market.
Shailesh Ayyangar, Managing Director, India and Vice-President, South Asia, Sanofi, says in the company release: “By setting up a manufacturing site at Shantha Biotechnics for our diabetes product Insuman, Sanofi is a front-runner in its endeavour of addressing the growing epidemic of diabetes in India.
Furthermore, the technology transfer and a successful collaborative effort within the Sanofi Group underline our commitment to investing and ‘making in India’. We look forward to the successful completion of the Insuman site construction, so that many more diabetic patients in India can have easier access to better disease management and quality of life.”