‘Alliance with SILS to help add next-generation vaccines, drive long-term growth’

By: |
October 27, 2021 8:42 AM

The alliance with Serum Institute Life Sciences (SILS) provides Biocon Biologics an asset-light and accelerated entry into the vaccines segment.

kiran mazumdar shawKiran Mazumdar-Shaw, executive chairperson, Biocon and Biocon Biologics.

Biocon and its subsidiary Biocon Biologics recently announced their July-September results. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, executive chairperson, Biocon and Biocon Biologics, discussed the company’s performance and other aspects in an interview with FE. Excerpts:

How will the alliance with Serum Institute improve Biocon Biologics’ performance?

The alliance with Serum Institute Life Sciences (SILS) provides Biocon Biologics an asset-light and accelerated entry into the vaccines segment. Vaccines are a complementary business fit to Biocon Biologics, providing a new dimension to its effort in improving global healthcare and an additional growth pillar.

The alliance provides Biocon Biologics committed access to 100 million doses of SILS’ vaccines annually for a period of 15 years and commercialisation rights to SILS’ vaccine portfolio in exchange for a 15% stake. This will ensure Biocon Biologics a committed revenue stream and related margins starting in the second half of FY23. The near-term focus of the alliance would be on Covid-19 vaccines. We will also get access to SILS’ current development pipeline in other communicable diseases like mosquito-borne infections. We will also be able to add next-generation vaccines, which will drive long-term growth.

You have also partnered with Adagio Therapeutics for Covid drug development. With Covid-19 seeming to be waning, how do you see its prospects?

Biocon Biologics has entered into a partnership with Adagio Therapeutics for manufacturing and commercialisation of ADG20, a novel antibody therapy for Covid-19 in several emerging markets across the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and Asia, including India. This treatment potentially offers a convenient outpatient administration as a single intra-muscular injection for both prevention and treatment of Covid-19. It has also been engineered to have a long half-life, potentially allowing for immediate and durable protection against Covid-19 for up to one year.

ADG20 also has the potential to effectively neutralise a broad range of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. The company is currently conducting its Phase 2/3 pivotal trials to support an Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) application in the US by the first quarter of calendar year 2022.

Biocon Biologics will get access to the clinical and non-clinical data from Adagio’s EUA submission to the US FDA to seek approvals in the emerging markets. Adagio has published six-month data from its ongoing Phase 1 trial in healthy volunteers (started in February 2021), which supports its safety and efficacy. Data on its serum virus neutralisation activity are at par or better than some of the advanced Covid-19 vaccines.

We expect this partnership to help us strengthen our capabilities in the area of infectious diseases and make meaningful impact by improving access to Covid-19 drugs.

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