Biocon looking at new global partnerships for its biosimilars
Biocon is now exploring new partnerships with pharma companies for its biosimilars, or low-cost copies of biotechnology products.
HYDERABAD: Six months after calling off its partnership with the world's largest drugmaker Pfizer, India's largest biotechnology company Biocon is now exploring new partnerships with other multinational pharmaceutical companies for its biosimilars, or low-cost copies of biotechnology products.
This time, however, the company will restrict its partnership to the developed markets - the US and Europe, chairman and managing director Kiran Mazumdar Shaw told ET.
Biocon activated a number of regional partnerships after its split with Pfizer in developing nations like Thailand and Malaysia. "We will seek a partner who is willing to co-invest with us and have a closer working partnership in terms of clinical and marketing strategies that are well aligned," Shaw said.
Pfizer and Biocon split amicably in March this year, ending a two-year partnership where the multinational was to market some of Biocon's insulin products in highly regulated and other developing markets.
Biocon had received $200 million from Pfizer as an upfront payment and deposited it in its escrow account for developing and manufacturing the products. Pfizer was to commercialise about five versions of human insulin such as Glargine, Aspart, Lispro, Novolin and Humilin, manufactured by big pharma companies.
Shaw said her firm will retain the payments made by Pfizer and the multinational, on its part, will forego the exclusive rights it was given to commercialise the products. Biocon is yet to finalise if the new partnership will be a co-development project or a pure marketing relationship, she said.
"If it is a pure marketing strategy, we will do this post-development. If we find a partner willing to co-invest with us, we will have a different model," Shaw said.
The firm has already started talking to companies in the European region, she said, adding that Biocon has begun global Phase I trials for Glargine.
While the company waits for the new partnerships to fructify for the US and European markets, it is looking at more alliances with regional biotechnology companies in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa and MIST (Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea and Turkey) regions.
According to the data by the research firm IMS, the emerging markets are going to drive the growth for the global pharma market which is expected to be over $1 trillion by 2015.