Rabipur drives Aventis' biotech aspirations.
Aventis Pharma Ltd continued to lead the anti-rabies vaccine market in India registering a growth of 15 percent over the previous year. Aventis Pharma markets the rabies vaccines under the brand Rabipur. It continues to be the market leader with a market share of 69 percent. Rabipur crossed the figure of Rs 100 crore in November 2005 (for the calendar year 2005) becoming the first brand to achieve this milestone. Besides vaccines, it is also into insulin business with its product Lantus. Its overall biotech sales for year 2005-06 reached Rs 114.5 crore against last year's sales of Rs 84.3 crore.
Besides Rabipur, Aventis sells other vaccines such as Vaxem HIB, Morupar and Typhoral. Lantus is a star in its portfolio for diabetes treatment in India. It was introduced in the last quarter of 2003. Lantus is the first 24-hour basal (long acting) insulin in India for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
Lantus, the world's first long active Insulin glargine, achieved excellent acceptance by diabetologists and patients. It continues to drive the growth of basal insulin in the country. Lantus is growing faster than the human insulin market (18.7 percent) and the basal insulin market (48.6 percemt). Campaigns for patient acquisition through the year have helped in getting new patients on Lantus thereby ensuring better diabetes control.
Though it is not actively involved in R&D of its own in India, it has access to the Group's global research initiatives and has an impressive line-up of blockbusters in the pipeline. Although Aventis Pharma does not conduct any basic research, it has carried out process development and clinical trials for existing and future products. And has earned a total revenue of Rs 334 lakh. It has conducted the first wave of a large-scale practice survey of diabetes management across the country. This survey will help identify the various methods of diabetes management being practiced in the country to help provide better healthcare in the management of diabetes. An observational study of gastric cancer treatment regimes was also initiated in 2005 with some of the leading oncologists. This study will continue in 2006 aiming to study the treatment options used in this type of cancer. Aventis Pharma is managing two studies with its product Clexane to assess its effect in preventing formation of clots in immobilized patients. It has also conducted an interesting study on use of the 'once a day' basal insulin Lantus in fasting patients to demonstrate its safety. Throughout the year, large number of Continuous Medical Education programs were held in different therapeutic categories to disseminate latest scientific advancements.
Aventis Pharma has six regional offices and two state-of-the-art manufacturing sites at Ankleshwar (active pharmaceutical ingredients and formulations) and Goa (formulations). Incorporating the latest designs and processes in manufacturing, both sites have been identified as potential global sourcing units. Its Ankleshwar site is shared with Chiron Behring Vaccines Pvt Ltd (CBVPL) and Aventis CropScience. The CBVPL is a joint venture company in which Aventis is holding 49 percent stake. As per the agreement, CBVPL will manufacture Rabipur, anti-rabies vaccines for Aventis Pharma upto April 2008.
Four of its products including LANTUS and INSUMAN continue to be fully exempted from customs duty as they are in the exemption list of life saving medicines. There will also be no special countervailing duty on these products. These would help the company to increase its sales in insulin market space in the country.