Zydus Cadila is celebrating after joining "the elite billionaire club of Indian pharma companies", just four years after it posted revenues of $400 million.

The Ahmedabad-based company says that its unaudited figures for the year ending March 31 show that turnover crossed the $1 billion mark, joining the likes of Cipla, Ranbaxy, GSK and Piramal Group whose revenues have passed that milestone. Growth has been driven by a strong showing in the USA, France, Spain, Japan, Brazil and South Africa, as well as at home.

With over 60 first-in-India launches, Zydus Cadila's domestic formulations business has been the mainstay of operations, notably in the women’s health, gastrointestinals, respiratory and cardiovascular segments. It added that the most striking development last year, "which underscored the group’s speed and efficiency in responding to market needs," was the launch of VaxiFlu-S, India’s first indigenously-manufactured vaccine to combat swine flu.

Chairman Pankaj Patel said that “when we began our journey to the billion in 2006-07, we knew it would be a big leap forward". He added that "this has been the result of an all-round effort in terms of strengthening existing businesses, building new capabilities and venturing into new geographies".

Zydus Cadila stated that "another key aspect of its journey of growth has been the ability to work with partners and forge win-win alliances and joint ventures" with Abbott Laboratories, Bayer, Hospira and Nycomed. The group has begun its "march beyond the billion" by setting up three new units - Zydus Vaccine Technology Centre, Zydus Biologics and Zydus Technologies - and has 12 investigation new drugs in various stages of clinical trials.