Health, Wellness & Biotech

India’s Growing Dermatology Market: Torrent Pharmaceuticals Buys Curatio Health Care for $245M

Torrent Pharmaceuticals, a generic drug maker, is set to acquire dermatology startup Curatio Healthcare for $245 million, The Economic Times reported on Tuesday

The deal, which is expected to close in October, will put Torrent among the top ten largest dermatology firms in India, according to a press release put out by the company. 

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“The acquisition offers Torrent the opportunity to enhance its presence in dermatology with a differentiated portfolio and is a strong strategic fit,” said Torrent executive director Aman Mehta. “Curatio has built a commendable set of high market share brands in cosmetic and pediatric dermatology that we look forward to adding to our product offerings.”

ChrysCapital and Sequoia Capital, which hold a 20% and 33% stake respectively in Curatio, will exit the company.

Curatio Healthcare boasts about 50 dermatology brands in its portfolio marketed towards the hair, scalp and face, as well as a line devoted to young children and sensitive skin. The 17-year-old company has a slew of medicated body washes and hair products as well as off-the-shelf brands.

Rise of hair and skin products in India

Cosmetic dermatology, like treating acne, brittle hair and wrinkles, has been on the rise in India. The private markets saw over $111 billion in venture investment in 2021, a 281% leap from the year prior, according to Crunchbase data. Though funding has died down in 2022, so far startups in the space have seen more than $36 million in funding, a sizable increase from years prior to 2021.

One of them, Clinikally, was founded in 2021 and received $600 thousand from the likes of Y Combinator. The dermatology-focused telehealth company that offers same-day prescription delivery is using artificial intelligence to build a repository of skin types and hair types to potentially automate prescription treatments in the future.Another, Traya Health, raised $2.2 million in seed funding in January to target hair loss through a combination of Ayurvedic medicine, nutrition and allopathy.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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