Biocon aims to be global biopharma leader in 20 yrs: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

As India’s largest biopharmaceutical firm Biocon celebrates its 40th birthday on Thursday, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, the chairperson and managing director, tells Samreen Ahmad in an interview that diabetes and cancer care are going to be the two major focus areas in the coming years. While the company’s insulin business recorded a strong growth in several emerging markets, including Malaysia and Mexico this quarter, its cancer biosimilar Fulphila became the first pegfilgrastim biosimilar to be available to patients in the US. Edited excerpts: 

What have been the significant milestones at Biocon in the past 40 years?

We have had many milestones along the way, but some of the iconic ones have been creating Syngene, going for a public offering, and becoming a leading biopharmaceutical company in Asia. We reinvented ourselves from an enzymes to a biopharmaceutical company. Then, of course, becoming the first Indian company to get our biosimilar approved and commercialised in the US has been an important milestone. 

How will the next four decades pan out for the company?

I am not a soothsayer, but all that we have done in the past 40 years is expected to give us huge rewards in the next 40 years.

What will be the focus areas for the company in the coming years?

It will be biopharmaceuticals because we are really focused on diabetes and cancer. Today, we are the largest biopharmaceutical firm in Asia and I hope that in the next 20 years, we will become one of the leading players in that space, globally. 

Are you looking at getting into any newer areas? 

No, but we are looking at cancer care in a big way, not only in terms of biosimilars but also in the novel molecules category.

In what stage are the trials for the oral insulin project? 

It is in phase 2B-III. May be in the next two to three years, we will be launching the product.

Are you confident of meeting the $200-million revenue target from biologics business in 2018-19?

Yes, we are confident.

Any new drug trials in the pipeline?

All our biosimilar molecules, which are under development, are progressing well. Quite a few are in the Phase-III trial, so everything is on track. 

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