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Pfizer acquires Indian American owned pharmaceutical development company InnoPharma for $225 million

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InnoPharma was founded by Dr. Navneet Puri in New Jersey, in 2003.

The American Bazaar Staff

NEW YORK: Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) is acquiring InnoPharma, Inc., a privately held pharmaceutical development company by an Indian American entrepreneur Dr. Navneet Puri, for $225 million, in cash.

InnoPharma’s current portfolio includes 10 generic products approved by the United States (U.S.) Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said a press release issued by Pfizer. The company also has a pipeline of 19 products filed with FDA and more than 30 injectable and ophthalmic products under development. The company seeks to develop novel formulations of existing drugs, including hard-to-make products, such as those that require complex manufacturing capabilities or have bio-equivalency challenges, in areas such as cancer and central nervous disorders.

Founded in 2003, and operational since 2005, InnoPharma has a comprehensive research and development facility in Piscataway, NJ. The company has developed capabilities in complex injectable delivery forms, including pens and depot injectibles, and is working to leverage this expertise to expand into new dosage forms, including oral suspensions and nasals.

“InnoPharma has emerged as a strong development company over the years, with a portfolio of complex and differentiated products that provide value and options to patients and payors, and has an excellent team that has executed on this business model so successfully,” said Puri, President and CEO of InnoPharma, in a statement. “We are very pleased to continue to provide this value as part of Pfizer, which has demonstrated its leadership within the pharmaceutical industry and a focus on improving patient health.”

The India-born Puri first studied at the University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Chandigarh, where he earned his bachelor’s in pharmacy in 1991. He then moved to America, earning his master’s from Mississippi State in 1994 and his Ph. D. from Rutgers in 1999. Innopharma was originally funded by Puri’s parents and brothers, who work in marketing and textile engineering, in India.

Prior to founding InnoPharma, Inc., Puri has had several years of work experience in major US pharmaceutical industry, primarily including Baxter Healthcare Corp., and Amgen Inc. His professional experience was primarily in parenteral pharmaceutical formulations, process R&D and microparticulate based sustained drug delivery systems for parenteral administration. He was credited with establishing a novel technology platform for blending drugs for parenteral administration while working at Baxter. He has published numerous research and review articles in eminent scientific journals, authored patents and made presentations at national and international scientific conferences.

The management team of the company includes two other Indian Americans.

Sriram J. Ramanathan is listed as a co-founder in InnoPharma. He is a pharmacist by educational training and has an MS degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Prior to joining InnoPharma, Inc., he has had several years of experience in major US pharmaceutical industry, including Roche Vitamins Inc, Inhale Therapeutics (now Nektar Therapeutics), Alpharma and Cardinal Health.

Dr. Satish Pejaver joined InnoPharma, Inc. as its CSO after approximately 23 years of R&D experience in industry, majority of which was at Baxter Healthcare Corp.

Pejaver played a key role in growing the generic injectable business unit of Baxter, and was responsible for developing various generic injectable products, as well as few selected NCEs. While at Baxter, he led a team of 80 plus scientists, in groups including analytical R&D, stability R&D, formulation and process R&D for injectable as well as inhalation anesthetics.