Covid-19 may have led to loss in lives and livelihood but interestingly it has also created massive wealth and valuations for those developing and providing solutions for the treatment of the dreaded virus. A total of 27 pharma companies who witnessed a 33% growth in valuation in August, are actively involved in either developing or manufacturing vaccines or drugs to combat Covid-19, data from IIFL Wealth Hurun India Top Covid-19 Pharma Entrepreneurs List suggests.
While eight companies are developing or manufacturing Covid-19 vaccines, 22 are either developing or manufacturing drugs to treat the viral infection. The companies are drawn from the 77 featured in the mother list, IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List 2020, which compiles those with a networth of Rs 1,000 crore each as of August 2020.
This mirrors the global trend of drug companies including Moderna, Pfizer, Novavax and Johnson & Johnson, clocking huge gains in their stocks and valuations, as their vaccine candidates enter an advanced stage of development. With a wealth of Rs 94,300 crore, Serum Institute’s promoter Cyrus Poonawalla tops the IIFL Wealth Hurun India Top Covid-19 Pharma entrepreneurs list. He ranked sixth in the overall list of super-rich individuals. Pune-based Serum has tie ups with global manufacturers AstraZeneca and Novavax for potential Covid-19 vaccines which are undergoing clinical trials. The Gates Foundation is pumping in at-risk funding of $300 million to its partnership with Gavi and Serum Institute for potential Covid-19 vaccines.
The largest increase of 89% is in the wealth of Hyderabad-based Divi Laboratories’ promoter Murali Divi and family, to Rs 49,200 crore. The Covid-19 super-rich entrepreneurs reported a 33% wealth increase of Rs 1,42,500 crore as against last year. Of this, 26 are first-generation entrepreneurs, with an average age of 66.
The list, which is a sub list of the super-rich group, is not so much of the wealth created by these entrepreneurs. It is more about the valuable enterprise these entrepreneurs have created and how they are impacting the Covid race. Some companies like Cadila and Dr Reddy’s are involved in both drugs and vaccine for the virus”, Anas Rahman Junaid MD & chief researcher, Hurun Report India told TOI.
With a networth of Rs 1,400 crore, promoter of FDC Ltd Mohan Anand Chandavarkar --part of the Covid-19 pharma entrepreneurs list, made a debut in the main list. The company had launched two variants of anti-viral drug, Favipiravir, a potential Covid-19 treatment, in August.
The second-largest increase of 71% is in Biocon’s chairperson Kiran Mazumdar Shaw’s wealth of Rs 31,600 crore, who ranks fifth on the main list. Biocon launched a biologic therapy, itolizumab for Covid-19, while it’s subsidiary, Syngene, has tied up with US firm, Gilead Sciences to manufacture and sell Covid-19 potential drug, Remdesivir.
With a wealth of Rs 84,000 crore Sun Pharma promoter Dilip Shanghvi ranks second in this list. Backed by a 22% increase in the share price of Sun Pharma, Shanghvi’s wealth increased by 17% or Rs 12,000 crore, the data says. Sun Pharma is running Phase II clinical trials on AQCH, a phytopharmaceutical drug, as potential treatment for Covid-19, and already launched Favipiravir tablets.
Favipiravir is the most manufactured drug, produced by 10 companies, including Glenmark, Cipla, Hetero, Dr Reddy’s and Lupin-- all which have seen huge valuations.