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TerumoBCT to make India major hub for blood management solutions

TerumoBCT to make India major hub for blood management solutions

In 1999, Terumo BCT had acquired a 74 per cent stake in Penpol, a blood bag manufacturing company with an initial 2 million bags a year capacity started in 1985 by entrepreneurs C Balagopal and his younger brother C Padmakumar at Thiruvananthapuram.

The picture for representational purpose. The picture for representational purpose.

TerumoBCT, the world's leading manufacturer of blood related medical devices and therapeutics, is planning big investments in its Indian subsidiary Terumo Penpol to make it one among the prime production, research, and innovation centres across the globe.

"Since 2011, we have been investing heavily in India. Now plans are to augment our blood bag manufacturing capacity from 30 million units a year to 40 million units within two years, set up an expanded innovation and development centre with focus on blood management IT systems and related infrastructure at our facilities in Thiruvananthapuram," David B Perez, President and CEO, Terumo BCT told Business Today.

With around $1 billon revenue, US-based Terumo BCT, part of the Tokyo-based $4 billion medical solutions company Terumo Corporation, has been manufacturing facilities in the US, North Ireland, Belgium, Japan, Vietnam, and India.

In 1999, Terumo had acquired a 74 per cent stake in Penpol, a blood bag manufacturing company with an initial 2 million bags a year capacity started in 1985 by entrepreneurs C Balagopal and his younger brother C Padmakumar at Thiruvananthapuram. In 2011, TerumoBCT acquired 100 per cent shares of Penpol. Now, Terumo Penpol makes 30 million blood bags a year employing around 1500 people and is one of the world's largest manufacturers of blood bags, transfusion sets and blood storage cabinets, and other blood management ancilliary products. It exports 55 per cent of the production to about 130 countries and contributes nearly 20 per cent to the global revenues of TerumoBCT.

"In India, 11 million blood collections happen a year and is estimated to be a $50 million market for blood and related products and software," said C Padmakumar, chairman and managing director of Terumo Penpol, adding that the company supplies its products directly to hospitals, blood banks and collection centres. Its domestic competitors include HLL Lifecare, Polymed and J Mitra & Co, etc.

David Perez said his company employs about 6,000 associates and is the global market leader in apheresis, a medical term for removal or separation of whole blood from a patient or donor. In this, a specialized device known as Trima Accel collects the donor's whole blood and then separates it into plasma, RBC, WBC, platelets etc. The components that are needed for patients are tested and stored for future use, and the remaining components are transfused back to the donor. The blood center segment contributes about 65 per cent of Terumo BCT's revenues.

The company also sells a product called Mirasol PRT system, which can separate pathogen load of a broad range of disease-causing viruses, bacteria and parasites. Its Spectra Optia system is another industry-leading therapeutic device, a cell processing and collection platform, mainly used by researchers in cancers, regenerative medicine and cell therapeutics.

David Perez said the company devotes over 7 per cent of revenues on research and innovation and has a pipeline of about 20 products in various stages of clinical development. Cell therapeutics, regenerative medicines, and anti-cancer solutions are a major area of research, he said.