Sun Pharma Invests Rs 32 cr in Two Healthcare Startups

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, India’s largest pharmaceutical company, has announced equity investments in two healthcare startups – Ezerx Health Tech and Agatsa Software. The pharmaceuticals company said these companies possess innovative technologies in areas of pharma and healthcare.

As per a regulatory filing, Sun Pharma has entered into an agreement to acquire 37.76% stake in Ezerx Health Tech Pvt Ltd for Rs 28.69 crore.

Ezerx, incorporated in 2018, is an early stage medical devices company that provides non-invasive screening solutions to identify health parameters. It reported revenues of Rs 6.15 crore in 2022-23, a significant jump from Rs 1.73 crore in the previous year.

In addition, Sun Pharma has also signed an agreement to increase its investment in Agatsa Software Pvt Ltd, a diagnostic healthcare startup, from 26.09% to 30.13%.

The additional 4.04% stake will cost Sun Pharma Rs 4.5 crore, taking its total investment in Agatsa to Rs 26.5 crore. Founded in 2010, Agatsa develops non-invasive medical diagnostic devices leveraging technology and R&D capabilities. It recorded revenues of Rs 1.10 crore in FY2023, up from Rs 44 lakh in FY2022.

Over the past few years, Sun Pharma has been actively scouting for emerging technologies and innovative products through minority investments, partnerships and in-licensing deals.

Last year, Sun Pharma invested over $200 million across five deals, including Vesincare, ZenRx and Triastek. It acquired Vesincare, a branded prescription product, from Owkin Inc. for $12 million upfront payment. The acquisition of ZenRx, a peptide therapy company, marked Sun Pharma’s entry into the peptide API space. The in-licensing deal with Triastek gives Sun Pharma access to Triastek’s proprietary 3D printed drug delivery technology.

In 2021, Sun Pharma invested $25 million in HDM Hyderabad Pharma City for an 18% stake as part of the consortium to set up Hyderabad Pharma City. It also acquired 5.7% stake in Wellthy Therapeutics, a digital therapeutics company. Additionally, Sun Pharma completed the acquisition of Pola Pharma Inc in Japan in 2021.

Earlier acquisitions include Taro Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Ranbaxy Laboratories, InSite Vision and Dusa Pharmaceuticals Inc. The $3.2 billion acquisition of Ranbaxy in 2014, remains Sun Pharma’s largest acquisition till date.

Headquartered in Mumbai, Sun Pharma reported revenues of over $4.9 billion in FY22 with operations across 100 countries and over 50 manufacturing facilities globally. In India, the company enjoys leadership position in chronic therapy areas including cardiology, psychiatry, neurology, gastroenterology and diabetology. With consistent focus on complex generics, Sun Pharma aims to strengthen its global specialty and OTC business going forward.