Israeli API maker Wavelength buys up majority stake in Indian firm making drug starting materials and intermediates
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to challenge the global drug supply chain, nations are looking for new ways to enable native producers to continue scaling up. Now, an Israeli API maker is dropping a down payment into an Indian intermediates company to ramp up its own manufacturing base.
Wavelength Pharmaceuticals will pay an undisclosed sum to buy up a majority stake in Hyderabad’s Vanamali Organics, an Indian firm specializing in making drug intermediates and starting materials that will add to Wavelengths’ API contract manufacturing work, the company said in a release.
In taking control of Vanamali, Wavelength will double the firm’s production capacity and add more than 10 key regulatory starting materials and drug intermediates for Wavelength’s own strategic APIs and API CDMO customers, a Wavelength spokeswoman said by email.
As currently constituted, Vanamali employs roughly 140 works in Hyderabad, Telangana, that specialize in API starting materials and contract research, according to its website. Wavelength said the Indian firm currently sports enough capacity for research- to commercial-scale production of its drug intermediates.
“The acquisition of Vanamali Organics represents the next stage of this investment strategy,” Wavelength CEO Iftach Seri said in a statement. ” We are delighted to add their talented team and advanced development and manufacturing capabilities to Wavelength, and we expect they will be important contributors to our global supply chain network and our rapidly growing custom development and manufacturing services business.”
Wavelength, a more than 30-year-old firm based in Petah Tikva, launched its API CDMO business in early 2020 and currently sports more than 250 customers from 50 countries. The company’s contract arm churns out more than 250 metric tons of commercial APIs every year for injectables, inhalables, highly potent, cytotoxic and controlled substances, according to a release.
During Covid-19, the company has helped fill a void in meeting API demand for medicines used to treat patients with the virus. In April of last year, Wavelength expanded its production of API for three generic drugs— sedative midazolam, muscle relaxant cisatracurium, and paralytic rocuronium — to help keep up with hospital demand.
The company was one of many to step into the void for needed generic medicines as chronic shortages crippled access to key drugs, specifically in the early- to mid-stages of the pandemic. That shortage actually led the FDA to thaw its relationship with compounding pharmacies — which was once particularly icy — to ramp up production.
Wavelength’s growth in the API space comes as nations around the world look to develop redundant supply chains for key generic medicines amid the pandemic. India and China are two of the leading players in that game, and US legislators for months have pushed for an aggressive “onshoring” of drug production to counteract the nation’s reliance on foreign producers. Israel, a key ally to the US, could be a logical partner in that effort, but the Trump administration also took out big bets on US firms to set up shop stateside.