India's Sun Pharmaceuticals weighs a Swedish acquisition, says former Philly drug company helps sales

 Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., one of India's largest drug makers, said its newly-acquired URL Pharma of Philadelphia helped Sun increase sales in the United States, according to its quarterly and fiscal full-year earnings released earlier this week.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday morning that Sun is in talks to buy Swedish drugmaker Meda AB. A link to the Journal story is here.

Sun Pharma is based in Mumbai. It's main U.S. generic subsidiary is Caraco Pharmaceuticals, which is based in Detroit. Sun also has a facility in Cranbury, N.J.

Founded in 1947, URL Pharma was a private, family-owned company with two Philadelphia factories. But it was sold twice in 2012. Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceuticals bought the company, but then sold everything - except the very-profitable gout medication, Colcrys - to Sun Pharma.

The Takeda-Sun deal for URL Pharma closed in February.

Sun Pharma, whose fiscal year ended March 31, said in a statement that its full year net sales increased 40 percent, while the net profit rose 16 percent compared to the previous year. The quarterly net sales, which include some revenue from URL Pharma products, rose 32 percent and the profit rose 23 percent.

Media outlets in India speculated that Sun Pharma was trying to make another acquisition to bolster its generics business in the United States.

Long-term plans for the Philadelphia facilities remain unclear. The Sun Pharma spokeswoman in Mumbai did not return an email message requesting an update.

“I am very pleased to announce that, our sales for FY13 have crossed the $2 billion mark," Sun Pharma managing director Dilip Shanghvi, said according to a company statement. "While it took us almost 27 years to record $1 billion in revenues, the next billion was added in just 3 years.

“All our businesses continue to perform in-line with our expectations. We continue to focus on building a differentiated and specialty product portfolio and enhancing our international presence. Overall, we shall strive to remain focused on execution and building a business with consistent performance.”