Pharma stocks rebound, Natco’s Copaxone US nod highlight of the week

Moneycontrol News

Pharma stocks recovered this past week on a spate of new approvals in US and news of near normalization in September of domestic formulation business after disruption caused in the month ahead of GST roll-out. The week was dominated by Natco Pharma’s generic Copaxone approval in US.

How did Pharma Index Perform?

The BSE Healthcare rose 2.8 percent in the past week, the benchmark Sensex declined 0.88 percent. Natco Pharma was the biggest gainer this past week with its shares rising 27.14 percent. The other big gainers include Aurobindo Pharma (6.45 percent), Cadila Healthcare (5.38 percent), Sun Pharma (4 percent), Biocon (5 percent), Lupin (2.59 percent), Torrent (2.01 percent) and Glenmark (1.74 percent).

Divis and Cipla remained flat, Dr Reddy’s shares saw a drop of 1.17 percent.

Here’s what kept the sector buzzing.

Natco Pharma’s partner Mylan this past week announced  that it had received US FDA approval for the generic version of Israel-based Teva’s top-selling multiple sclerosis (MS) drug Copaxone 20 and 40 mg/mL dosage forms. Natco supplies the drug to Mylan. Analysts expect Natco to earn windfall gains from this drug. However, Mylan launched the 40 mg “at risk” which means that the patent litigation isn’t yet over. Teva warned Mylan of “significant damages” if it loses in litigation.

Indian drug makers’ revenue growth in US may cool off to 7-10 percent over the next three years after mid- to high double-digit growth over the last five years owing to rising competition, fewer blockbuster drugs going off-patent, generic adoption reaching saturation levels and regulatory overhang, according to rating firm ICRA.

In a major relief to cancer patients Intas Pharmaceuticals said that it has launched its biosimilar cancer drug Bevacizumab under brand name Bevatas in India at a much lower cost than the currently available options.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) this past week named Soumya Swaminathan as Deputy Director General for Programmes of the United Nations agency based in Geneva, Switzerland. She will be holding the second most important post at the international public health body.Most recently, Swaminathan was Secretary of the Department of Health Research and Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).