True to its name, Biocon entered the biopharma market a decade ago after initially being a producer of industrial enzymes. Initially, the focus was on generics, one of the main objectives being to understand the regulatory issues.
“We were, however, clear that we would focus on an innovation-led strategy and we expect to get around 25-30 per cent of our revenues from proprietary drugs in the long term,” says Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairman & MD, Biocon.
|Chairman & MD: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw|
NCES in the pipeline: 7
Therapeutic areas of focus: Metabolic, inflammatory and immune disorders
Progress made: Three in Phase III, two in Phase II, two in pre-clinical (all in India)
Investments so far in NCE research: Rs 100 crore
Annual investment in R&D: 15 per cent of sales
Likely target date for new drug launch: 2010
CEO-speak: “We built a pipeline from early on to build our proprietary drug business, which will be key to our business in the next few years”
Biocon made its first foray back in drug research in 2000 when it licensed some anti-body programmes from Cuba. “We decided to go there because they had some interesting drug candidates and some human data to back it up.
This led to the development of our first innovation in this segment with the BioMAB (mono clonal antibody)-EGFR (extended growth factor receptor) for the treatment of various types of cancer,” adds Mazumdar-Shaw.
Backed by such experience in innovation, Biocon is now going the whole hog in an attempt to put new drugs on the market.
The focus is on immune, inflammatory and metabolic disorders; the company says it has 7-8 NCEs in the pipeline.
And it’s pretty upbeat about progressing rapidly. Mazumdar-Shaw expects to get 25-30 per cent of revenues from proprietary drugs in the next three or four years.
Biocon has invested Rs 100 crore in R&D and this will increase as the company expands its basket of proprietary drugs. The first task, though, would be to get that one magic pill to market.
— Rahul Sachitanand