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Biocon pins hopes on emerging markets to deliver in FY19

The company said the growth in the coming quarters will be boosted by two key approvals it received for its long acting insulin glargine in Russia and cancer biosimilar Trastuzumab from Brazilian regulatory authorities.

January 29, 2018 / 07:26 PM IST
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Viswanath Pilla
Moneycontrol News

Biocon said it expects to see bounceback of its financial performance in FY19 driven by emerging markets sales of its biosimilars.

“I believe the next big opportunity for Biocon is European and US markets, that takes a bit of ramp up; FY19 is certainly an emerging market play,” said Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairperson of Biocon in the company’s earnings call.

Biocon reported muted third quarter in FY18 with net profit dipping 46 percent to Rs 92 crore and revenues remaining flat at Rs 1,092 crore.

The company said the growth in the coming quarters will be coming from two key approvals it received for its long-acting insulin glargine in Russia and cancer biosimilar Trastuzumab from Brazilian regulatory authorities.

Russia is top-3 emerging market for insulin glargine, with sales potential in “millions of dollars”.  Biocon is also planning to launch Trastuzumab in other major emerging markets. Biocon’s version of Trastuzumab received US FDA approval last month, strengthening the company’s case as it targets launches in other emerging markets.


Biocon, which saw a substantial dip in its licensing income during the first nine months of FY18, said it will be initiating discussions with its existing and new partners in various emerging countries to out-license its biosimilar Bevacizumab.

Biocon launched Bevacizumab, a biosimilar version of  Swiss pharmaceutical major Roche's anti-tumour drug Avastin in India last year. and pins hopes on launching this drug in other emerging markets with similar regulatory pathways such as India through partners.

Biocon typically launches its biosimilars in emerging markets through - out-licensing route.

The company has indicated that it may have to wait till FY20 to see the highly lucrative regulated markets playing out for its biosimilars.

The company expects to see its insulin glargine to hit European markets this calendar year. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is expected to decide on approval of the drug in April this year.

Biocon’s Malaysia Insulins facility received GMP certificate from EMA last year. The company also expects to see Trastuzumab delivering from FY20 onwards.

Biocon has set a target of one billion dollars for FY19 has indicated that it will surpass its projections for biologics and research services segments, but may fall short in small molecules and branded formulation verticals.

The small molecule or API business one of the major revenue generator for the company was hit by pricing pressure in US, while reduction of licensing income and supply constraints due to requalification activities at its Bengaluru plant have affected the performance of biologics segment.

Research services housed under Syngene did relatively well.

The company said it is on course to reach USD 200 million sales from its biologics division in FY19, despite some disruptions caused due to inspections.
Viswanath Pilla is a business journalist with 14 years of reporting experience. Based in Mumbai, Pilla covers pharma, healthcare and infrastructure sectors for Moneycontrol.
first published: Jan 29, 2018 07:26 pm

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