Trivitron to set up INR 2.5 billion medical tech park

Chennai-based medical technology company Trivitron Medical Systems Pvt. Ltd. will get a funding of USD 11 million (INR 433 million) from ePlanet, a venture capital and private equity firm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the HSBC Asian Ventures Fund 2 Ltd., in exchange for a minority stake in Trivitron.

The funds raised will be used for developing Trivitron’s forthcoming medical technology park, set to come up in a total area of 25 acres in Sriperumpudur in Chennai. The park, slated to be a first of its kind, will promote indigenisation of medical technology in India. By October 2008, the first batch of products is expected to be manufactured from the plant.

Apart from the INR 433 million from private funding, the company has raised over INR 900 million from internal accruals and bank borrowing. Trivitron’s technology partners too have pooled in another about INR 900 million for the INR 2.5 billion technology park project.

Though Trinitron is the largest company of Indian origin to produce medical equipment, Dr. Velu feels that people were sceptical about buying made in India equipment, suspecting the quality. Trivitron hopes to clock a revenue of Rs 1000 crore by 2012.

With an existing portfolio of more than 15 companies in the Healthcare and Life Sciences arena, coupled with a dedicated team, ePlanet, has special interests in this sector, and believes Trivitron will provide a platform for their global partners for entry into India, to set up manufacturing facilities and distribution centres for medical equipment to serve both the local and global markets.

Cryobanks plans INR 500 cr (US$ 125m) investment

Quest Diagnostics has chosen HCL as a technology partner to accelerate the launch of its India operations. HCL will work with Quest to establish and manage their IT infrastructure.

Quest Diagnostics India is a wholly owned subsidiary of USD 7 billion worth Quest Diagnostics Incorporated, which is into medical diagnostic testing, information and services.

HCL will host Quest Diagnostics’ India data centre and provide network and IT support services from its centre at Noida. In addition, it has collaborated with Quest Diagnostics to develop a patient health record product currently in pilot.

Cisco, Satyam in global collaboration for integrated health solutions

Fundamental changes are taking place in the way in which the healthcare services are provided to citizens across the world. Many countries have a compelling need for a single-point-healthcare service. Satyam has deep expertise in Integrated Health Solutions and has developed a health IT framework — “Distress to Discharge” (D2D�) and has proven implementation methodologies.

Now Cisco and Satyam Computer Services Limited have announced that they will collaborate to explore a new venture that will optimize, deploy and manage solutions for handling medical distress situations and health management solutions for global markets. The venture, in which Cisco has expressed a strategic intent to make a minority investment, is being pursued as part of Cisco’s extended USD 100 million venture program targeting Indian innovation.

The Integrated Health Solution provides individuals with access to first response, professional healthcare advice and support, with rapid access to trained medical experts either at designated local health centers or over a fixed/mobile phone infrastructure. In this services-led solutions-oriented architecture, Cisco’s technologies will work in an integrated way with Satyam’s processes and Software Application to support this.

India’s Pharma Industry to grow at 16%: KPMG
A report from research firm KPMG, released at the recent CII Pharma Summit in Mumbai predicts that the domestic pharmaceutical industry is projected to grow by 16% annually for the next five years, three percentage points more than the current growth rate.

The report ‘Indian Pharma Inc: a continuing success story’, projects the growth as being mainly driven by an increasing spend on healthcare on account of rising disposable incomes, increased penetration of health insurance and changing disease profile, coupled with regulatory changes.

The report also says that organised pharmacy chains, which currently holds just 2 per cent of the domestic market share, would capture an increasing percentage of the total market and expand the market with value-added services and enhanced offerings.

The focus of the therapeutic mix will also shift from acute diseases to chronic diseases in the medium to long run with about 75%, driven by the increasing prence of the chronic diseases, life style changes and ageing population, the report said. .

ICICI Venture, keen on part of healthcare pie invests USD 10 million in hospital chain

Private equity firm ICICI Venture has invested USD 10 million to pick a minority stake in urology hospital chain RG Stone Urological Research Institute. RG Stone, which is owned by Delhi-based Bansal family, will use the fund to set up 20 new hospitals across the country by 2008.

RG Stone currently has six hospitals spread across India. In the first phase, the institute plans to set up its own super-speciality hospital in Goa primarily to cater to foreign patients. In addition, RG Stone will set up speciality urology divisions in collaborations with some existing hospitals. These would include S K Soni Hospital (Jaipur), Kamyani Hospital (Agra), Saguna Hospital (Bangalore) and Ivy Hospital (Mohali).

These projects are expected to be completed by the end of this year. In the second phase, the company plans to add 15 new hospitals by September, 2008.

USIBC launches healthcare mission to India

Seeking to expand Indo-U.S. healthcare cooperation, the U.S.-India Business Council’s (USIBC) ‘Coalition for Healthy India’ launched its inaugural utive mission to India recently.

The mission is comprised of utives from the most prominent players in healthcare, including Emergent BioSolutions, Johnson & Johnson, Abbott, Pfizer, IBM, Avesthagen, Excel Life Sciences, Cognizant, Stryker, BD, Yes Bank, Patton Boggs, Ernst & Young, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), among others.

The highlight of the mission was USIBC’s participation in the 4th Annual CII Healthcare Conference in New Delhi on November 13-14. The USIBC also took part in a series of high-level meetings with industry and government officials throughout the course of the mission.

The Coalition for Healthy India (CHI) is a USIBC initiative dedicated to improving healthcare outcomes for Indian patients by ensuring affordable access to the latest and best treatments and cures. CHI brings together like-minded members of the U.S. and Indian business communities, non-governmental organizations, patient advocacy organizations and health professionals to coordinate and support improved access to healthcare in India.

MarketRx with Cognizant for USD 135 mn

IT major Cognizant Technology Solutions has acquired New Jersey-based MarketRx, provider of analytics and related software services to global life sciences companies. The company had earlier signed a definitive agreement with MarketRx to acquire it for USD 135 million in cash, to be funded through its cash reserves.

The acquisition would provide Cognizant access to MarketRx’s 75 customers. It will strengthen Cognizant’s full suite of offerings across all areas of the life sciences value chain – from research and development and manufacturing to sales and marketing operations.
This acquisition expands their capabilities in the analytics segment and broadens their service offerings for the life sciences industry, while providing strong synergies with the existing Business intelligence/data warehousing and CRM services.

Omega Healthcare’s USD 14 million expansion plans in India
Omega Healthcare, provider of healthcare BPO and KPO services, has announced growth plans for its Indian operations over the next 18-24 months. Omega intends to put in over USD 14 million to expand its Bangalore and Chennai facilities and will more than double its employee base to 3,000.

Omega is among the top BPO/KPO providers in the healthcare segment, offering medical coding and compliance, accounts receivables analysis and management, and reconciliation services. The company presently employs 1,200 associates at its two facilities. Several of its clients are Fortune 100 companies.

The recently inaugurated state-of-the-art facility in Bangalore houses 750 Omega associates, and the rest are located in Chennai. They have over 50 US-based clients, 6 of which are top 20 medical billing companies and many of which are publicly traded.

Dr Reddy`s plans to ramp up R&D spend
Indian pharmaceutical major Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. (DRL) aims to increase the R&D spend on its three major research programmes, including the reverse cholesterol transport (RCT), in a bid to come out with pathbreaking molecules in the next 7-10 years.
The company’s half-yearly expenditure on drug research ending September 2007 stood at USD 44 million and an equal amount is expected to be spent in the next half year.

The company’s inclination to raise more resources for drug research comes at a time when the company has started seeing the early signs of success at all the three tracks of drug research currently under way at its four laboratories, including the one at Atlanta in the US.

Max New York Life to invest USD 609 million in India

Max New York Life Insurance has disclosed plans to invest INR 24 billion (USD 609 million) in the country over the next four years.
They have reportedly drawn up a blueprint to invest INR 24 billion in expanding their base and network across the country over the next four years. The new scheme follows the company’s success with selling over 1.9 million policies across the country through its 29,000 agents, with more than INR 54 billion in sum assured.

IBA Health acquires iSOFT plc

Australia’s IBA Health Ltd, recently acquired iSOFT. The new entity IBA Health Group, will be the 4th largest healthcare IT company in the world and the largest outside the US. India will become the hub for the product and R&D initiatives for the group. The new entity will be one of the largest Australian employer in India with a strength of more than 2500 IT professionals with offices in Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad.

IBA and iSOFT’s products are currently being implemented by leading healthcare providers in over 35 countries. The combined Group will have the financial strength, international scope and enhanced skills to deliver major growth opportunities and value to shareholders, customers and employees.

Only 1.08% Indians have medical insurance
According to a recent study released by National Insurance Academy (NIA) of India, the health insurance sector in the country has recorded a healthy 38% growth during 2006-07. However, only 1.08% of the one billion Indians have secured medical insurance cover since 1986 when health insurance was first introduced in the country.

Shortage of hospitals and insurance providers, poverty, lack of co-ordination between hospitals and insurance firms and people’s belief in destiny have been cited as some of the reasons for the poor response. The potential market for health insurance is about INR 30,000 crore, but, at present, it is just limited to INR 1,400 crore. Also the health insurance sector stands at just 3% of the insurance sector. The study was collected from 16 insurance companies providing medical insurance.

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