“We expect an uptake in volumes from FY25 due to the CDMO deals”

Dr Satish Wagh, Chairman & Managing Director, Supriya Lifescience takes us through the company’s milestones, expansion plans, key R&D projects and focus on sustainability

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With a career spanning over 35 years, Dr Satish Wagh’s clear vision and impeccable articulation has earned him admiration from industry colleagues and peers. He was elected Chairman of CHEMEXCIL in 1994 when total exports were a mere USD 17 billion. In his 6th term after 22 years, exports are currently valued at over USD 47 billion.
In an exclusive interview, Dr Satish Wagh, Chairman & Managing Director, Supriya Lifescience takes us through the company’s milestones, expansion plans, key R&D projects and focus on sustainability.

BV LogoPlease provide an overview of Supriya Lifescience journey and growth in the Indian market since its inception. Key milestones that have shaped the company’s direction?
Supriya Lifescience has a well-established presence in API Manufacturing with focus in products of various therapeutic segments like – Antihistamine, Anti-Allergics, Vitamins, Anaesthetics, Anti- Asthmatics etc. Our commitment lies in setting the products, processes, and the systems as per the industry standards and in making continuous improvement to deliver quality products.  Operating across 86 countries with over 1200 customers, our major revenue contributors are Asia and Europe, trailed by Latin America and North America.
With 14 active USDMFs, 8 active CEPs & World wide compliant facilities (EMA, US FDA, WHO, PMDA, TGA, KFDA, ANVISA), we thrive on strong backward integration model that boosts profit margins and supply chain security. Our high investment in R&D fosters a robust product portfolio expansion, enabling us to explore new markets and seize CDMO opportunities.
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Can you elaborate on your collaboration with Kalinga Institute of Technology for development of Oral Cancer Detection kit? How is this product unique and what is the current status?
Supriya Lifescience and Odisha’s Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) have collaborated to develop an oral cancer detection kit. The company has announced the development of the ‘Quickblue oral kit,’ specifically crafted for the cost-effective and efficient detection of oral cancer. Additionally, the company has submitted a patent application for the kit. The oral kit has the potential to substantially lower the expenses associated with detecting oral cancer, thereby obviating the necessity for numerous biopsies in instances of non-healing oral ulcers. Its applicability extends to the country and the Asian subcontinent, particularly in regions where a notable proportion of oral cancer patients are identified.
The development of an Oral Cancer Detection Kit is in line with Supriya Lifescience vision of manufacturing niche products and becoming an innovation led global CDMO player. This product is not only a cheaper option, but it is also found to be a very sensitive detector. The global cancer market is estimated at U.S $21.5 billion, and the company is expecting to create a 1% to 2% market share.
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Supriya Lifescience has recently tied up with US based Plasma Nutrition. What are the broader objectives and expected outcomes?
This partnership aims to revolutionize the Indian market with ioProtein, a patented protein powder known for its outstanding bioavailability. Engineered specifically as a dietary supplement, this innovation promises swift absorption, offering consumers a more effective protein boost. Among our collaborations, the plasma nutrition project stands out for its rapid progress; we’ve already initiated small-scale production and distribution to key protein distributors. Anticipating a substantial uptick in commercial volume within the next 6 to 9 months, we’re confident that ioProtein’s unparalleled advantages will position ‘IO’ technology as the go-to for health-conscious individuals, reshaping the nutrition industry along the way.
“Going forward the company will be focusing on Europe, North America, and Latin America to drive growth.”
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Innovation is crucial in any industry. How much does the company spend annually on R&D? Tell us about the key R&D centre, team and focus of research?
The company always focuses on deepening its knowledge based across complex chemistries, technologies, and patented processes. Our R&D lab at Lote Parshuram is now commissioned and in operation and our pilot plant at Ambernath Lab, will be operational by Q4 FY ‘24. These centres will be used for the next phase of expansion for rolling out our new APIs and CMO and CDMO business. With these projects the total capacity will increase from 597 KL to 900 KL. Currently we are doing business with over 1200+ customers and have a presence in more than 86 countries. We have taken additional steps for business expansion around the globe especially in regulated markets like the North America market, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.  We have recently announced one of our key CMO projects with a leading European company where we will be exclusive API supplier. The contract spans a period of 10 years and is expected to generate peak revenue of Rs 40 crore per year starting from FY27.
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How do you plan to expand your global reach and product portfolio? Any key announcements in the offing?
Company has taken additional steps for business expansion around the globe especially in the North America market, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. The company expects an uptake in volumes from FY25 due to the CDMO deals which will significantly contribute to the revenue. Going forward the company will be focusing on Europe, North America, and Latin America to drive growth. The management is confident about achieving a minimum of 20-25% growth in the topline. The company has 6 molecules in the pipeline which are to be registered in China. The company committed to build a pipeline of new products, which could extend it beyond its longstanding competence in the area of antihistamines and towards antidiabetics and other areas.
“The global cancer market is estimated at U.S $21.5 billion, and the company is expecting to create a 1% to 2% market share.”
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Sustainability and environmental concerns are increasingly important. How is the company incorporating sustainability practices and considerations into its operations and offerings?
 Supriya Lifescience has fortified its strengths by adopting an interconnected strategy, leading to resilience, competitiveness, and sustained business growth over multiple years. The company’s robust business model proved its worth by generating optimal returns in favorable market conditions and standing strong during industry downturns. However, the ultimate aim isn’t just about this resilience; it’s to amplify value for everyone involved.
The company’s strong foundation lies in key elements: achieving extensive scale, operating at minimum costs, securing the highest margins, focusing on sales in regulated markets, backward integration and paving the way for sustainable growth. By adhering to these principles, our goal is to optimize value for stakeholders and ensure long-term success.

*This interview was first featured in the Jan & Feb 2024 edition of BioVoice eMag.