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Panacea Biotec enters hospital business

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Vaccine maker Panacea Biotec is foraying into the hospital business by setting up a 220-bed multi-specialty hospital with Gurgaon-based Umkal Medicals. Panacea Biotec has picked up 75% stake in Umkal’s project at Gurgaon and expects the hospital to be operational by January 2010. The Delhi-based pharma company has signed an agreement with shareholders of Umkal. Umkal has three hospitals in Delhi and the national capital region (NCR). However Panacea’s interest in Umkal will be limited to the Gurgaon project. According to initial estimates the project will cost around INR 80 crore. The company will target overseas patients and affluent Indians, which would be close to 25-30% of the market. Panacea Biotec joint MD Rajesh Jain said: “It is the company’s long term strategy to enter the private healthcare segment to make the company a leading health management company. Based on the experience from this project, we may look at starting a hospital chain.”

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