India's Lupin is boosting its business in Japan once again and has bought I'rom Pharmaceutical, a specialty injectables company headquartered in Tokyo.

Lupin, having bought generics firm Kyowa Pharmaceutical in 2007, has now acquired I'rom which had sales for the year ended March 2011 of 5.36 billion yen, about $70 million. It has a significant presence in the DPC (fixed-rate treatment) hospitals within Japan where "generic injectable penetration is slated to grow significantly in future".

Lupin noted that there are currently over 1,400 DPC hospitals in Japan, covering over 35% of all beds nationwide, which equates to a market size of $11 billion. Vinod Dhawan, the Mumbai-based group's president for Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Latin America, said Japan is a growth market of strategic focus for the firm and makes "an ideal fit with our existing oral business portfolio" in the country. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

Mr Dhawan was quoted by Reuters as saying that combined sales of Kyowa and I'rom are predicted to reach $230-$240 million in fiscal 2012, lifting Japan's contribution to Lupin's revenue to 15% from 12% at the moment. He went on to say the firm will continue to look for acquisitions in Latin America, especially in Brazil and Mexico.

Toshinori Mori, chairman of I'rom Holdings (IH), the group which is selling the unit, said that in light of the success of Indian generics companies across the world, "it should be in the best interest of IP to pursue its ambitious growth strategies as a member of Lupin. IH will continue to focus  on its clinical trials service business "for major pharmaceutical companies including the Lupin group,” he added.

Lupin, which claims to be the fifth largest and fastest growing generics player in the USA (with 5.1% market share by prescriptions), posted revenues for the year ended March 2011 of about $1.28 billion). Net income was $193 million.