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Biocon to enter developed markets with biosimilar products in 3 years

Biocon’s biosimilar strategy is playing out well and the company is set to enter developed or regulated markets with a basket of biosimilar products in next three years.

Biocon’s biosimilar strategy is playing out well and the company is set to enter developed or regulated markets with a basket of biosimilar products in next three years. The company will enter these markets at a time when patent expires in these markets starting 2016.

Biosimilars are copies of drugs with the same safety and efficacy as the original products. As part of the strategy, the company launched two biosimilar products in Mexico and Colombia. “We have licensed biosimilar Trastuzumab in key emerging markets. In the first quarter this year, we licensed Glargine (biosimilar insulin) in Mexico and Colombia,” Biocon chairman Kiran Mazumdar Shaw said.

Biocon’s strategy for global reach is through licensing its assets to global and regional partners across developed and emerging markets that give it a broad and competitive marketing footprint even as it opens up attractive licensing income opportunities and cash flows from product sales. Two licensing deals were signed in key markets for Trastuzumab in Q1FY16. Biocon receives licensing income from the transfer of proprietary technology of certain biosimilars under long-term contracts and out-licensing proprietary products.

Biocon generated a revenue of Rs 19 crore by licensing biosimilars in the first quarter. However, the company has not disclosed from which product this revenue has accrued to the company. It has also not diclosed in which of the emerging markets did the company introduce Tratsuzumab, a drug to treat cancer.

As part of its strategy for biosimilars, Biocon is looking at a revenue of around $200 million by 2018, which will be 20% of its $1-billion revenue target for 2018. For the developed markets, Biocon is currently conducting Phase-III trials for five biosimilars. With this, Biocon has joined a league of select global pharma companies to conduct advanced trials for biosimilars.

Phase-III clinical trials are progressing towards completion for Tratsuzumab and Pegfilgrastim. “The patient recruitment for the global Phase-III trials of insulin Glargine for both Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes studies have been completed during this quarter,” Shaw said.

The global market opportunity for biosimilars is estimated to reach $24 billion in 2019, according to Frost & Sullivan Global Biosimilars Report.

“We have seen good licensing revenue this quarter, which is integral part of our business. We see it as a revenue stream, as we go in the future because this is a very important part of our business,” Shaw said.

During the first quarter of this fiscal, Biocon entered into an agreement with Pisa Pharmaceutica for introducing Glargine in Mexico, following the approval from drug regulator Cofepris.

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