Caplin Point arm raises $31m from Eight Roads, F-Prime Capital

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An automated machine works on purification of potential hepatitis C virus drug candidate at the Gilead Sciences Inc. lab in Foster City, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Caplin Steriles, the injectables subsidiary of Indian pharmaceutical firm Caplin Point Laboratories, has raised Rs 218 crore ($30.6 million) from Eight Roads Ventures, the proprietary investment arm of Fidelity International and its US-based sister fund, F-Prime Capital.

According to an official statement, Caplin Steriles will cater to the growing demand for injectable products in the regulated markets, especially the US and Europe. Since Caplin Point was founded in 1990, it has grown to provide pharmaceutical formulations in several emerging markets including Latin America and Africa, with over 2,700 product registrations globally.

We are at a stage in our regulated markets journey where we believe that the business is now well positioned to evolve and thrive as a separate entity,” said Caplin Point Chairman C.C. Paarthipan.

“We are expanding capacities to cater to growing demand from these regulated markets for sterile products, and working on development of complex generic injectable products in-house. We are excited to extend our journey from a road less travelled (South America) to a road well-travelled (North  America) with Eight Roads Ventures and F-Prime Capital as investment and knowledge partners, given their excellent track record worldwide and particularly in healthcare,” he added.

Caplin Steriles has R&D facilities in Chennai and with an employee base of 550. It claims to have manufacturing infrastructure that is approved by the US FDA and European regulatory authorities. The subsidiary has already filed 8 ANDAs on its own and through partners with the US FDA, with two approvals.

Eight Roads Ventures, formerly Fidelity Growth Partners India, invests in companies in India and South-East Asia across technology, healthcare, financial services and consumer sectors. Its investments in the healthcare sector in the region include Carestack, Cipla Health, Core Diagnostics, Eywa Pharma, Laurus Labs, Medwell Ventures, Pharmeasy, Plasmagen Biosciences, Richcore Lifesciences and Trivitron Healthcare.

Most recently, in September last year, both Eight Roads and F-Prime had participated in a $50-million funding round raised by Mumbai-based online pharmacy startup PharmEasy. They also led a $16 million round in Florida and India-based CareStack, a cloud-based technology platform for the dental industry.

“This is a unique opportunity for us to partner with Caplin Point to build a world-class platform in India to develop and manufacture injectable drugs. Over 70 per cent of generic drug shortages in the US continue to be attributable to injectables. Through our combined experience and resources, we aspire to create a leader in this segment, providing affordable, differentiated products for patients,” said Prem Pavoor, Partner at Eight Roads Ventures India.

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