JB Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals seeks to expand market for prescription lozenges with new launches

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on July 26, 2021

Plans to launch half-a-dozen products, including herbal lozenges, this year

Singapore’s Tau Investment Holdings-controlled pharma major JB Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Limited (JBCPL) plans to launch about half a dozen new lozenges products this year.

The company targets this largely untapped segment by pegging it as a therapeutic and immunity intervention. For the distribution, it is strengthening its prescription model by working with clinics and healthcare professionals, rather than relying on the conventional over-the-counter (OTC) sales of these products.

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“Globally, lozenges as a therapeutic option is well accepted. But in India it is still in an early stage. The practice of healthcare professionals prescribing lozenges has not picked up here as it has globally. This may be because there are very few players in the space and the overall ecosystem is yet to be built. Currently, most lozenges are OTC products,” Nikhil Chopra, CEO of JBCPL, told BusinessLine.

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The prescription market for lozenges in India is estimated at around ₹150 crore. JBCPL expects its new therapeutic options to expand the market.

“There will be about half a dozen offerings from JBCPL in the segments of cough and cold, and immunity boosters. The product is ready, and we have the capacities to manufacture. So, we have the opportunity to leverage this (space) and, ultimately, benefit the consumers,” said Chopra, adding that this is an unexplored area for the industry.

The company, which has a dominant position in the lozenges space, has already launched products for therapeutic interventions in the nephrology and oncology space for the dry-mouth condition and nicotine lozenges.

JBCPL would also look at the inorganic expansion of its product portfolio by acquiring existing lozenges brands or portfolios, Chopra said. “We will evaluate that at a right time. Currently, there is nothing on the cards,” he said.

Organically, the company expects to maintain its growth momentum, which is above the industry average. “With the organic flow of business, and with the new products and initiatives, we expect that we can grow by 12-14 per cent in the short- to mid-term — that is, 18-20 months,” Chopra said. The company was taken over by the KKR-backed fund Tau Investment Holdings in 2020.

JBCPL shares traded at ₹1,794.90 on Monday, about 1 per cent lower from previous close on BSE.

Published on July 26, 2021

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