Lupin rationalises research operation at Pune

PT Jyothi Datta | | Updated on: Mar 09, 2019

Drugmaker Lupin Ltd is rationalising its research operation at Pune, as its business transitions from making plain generic drugs to more complex and speciality products.

“The US generic market has gone through significant changes in the last few years and we wanted to optimise our research structure in line with our future pipeline. These (job) cuts were necessary in line with the changes in the market place. In that, we have also re-deployed a good number of scientists in functions which we are expanding. We took a long term view on the research pipeline in doing this exercise and we do no anticipate further cuts,” a Lupin spokesperson told BusinessLine .

“Research is a key driver of our growth and we are committed to investing in our focus areas of generics, complex generics (including areas of inhalation and complex injectables), APIs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients), biosimilars, speciality and drug discovery”, the company added.

The Lupin representative did not put a number to the employees who were impacted by this exercise, and also, did not confirm industry information doing the rounds that pegged the number of employees being terminated at 60, across segments including dermatology and APIs. A similar exercise was expected across other segments as well over the week-end, according to industry information.

A person familiar with the details explained that the streamlining exercise presently underway at Lupin was possibly the last leg. A similar rationalisation had been undertaken in the last financial year as well, where the company had let go of about 50 people.

Lupin has 1700 scientists across nine research and development centres in different countries including two in India, at Pune and Aurangabad. In the third quarter , Lupin’s investment in R&D stood at ₹425 crore, or 9.7 per cent of sales. This was comparable to the company’s research spending in the three months preceding the mentioned quarter, though it was lower than the spending of ₹4,75 crore or 12.2 per cent of sales in the corresponding third quarter of the previous year (or Q3, FY2018).

The employee rationalisation at Lupin, comes even as the year began on a sombre note for the pharma industry as Pfizer announced that it would exit two of its India plants at Aurangabad (Maharashtra) and Irungattukottai (Tamil Nadu), a decision that impacted 1,700 people employed at the two sites.

Published on March 09, 2019
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