Biocon posts 22% fall in Q2 net profit on high R&D expenses, staff costs

In the biosimilars segment, Biocon’s Insulin Glargine was commercialised in the US by partner Mylan during the quarter.
Biopharmaceutical major Biocon on Friday posted a 22 per cent fall in consolidated net profit for the September quarter of the current financial year (Q2), to Rs 169 crore, on account of higher research & development (R&D) expenses, staff costs, forex losses and other expenses. The company’s gross R&D spend was up 35 per cent on a y-oy- basis at Rs 165 crore in Q2. 

The Bengaluru-headquartered company posted 10 per cent growth in consolidated revenue on a y-o-y basis to Rs 1,760 crore in Q2 of FY21. In the second quarter of the previous financial year, the consolidated revenue had stood at Rs 1,606 crore. 

“As part of our commitment to address the novel coronavirus pandemic in India, the Biocon group is working on a comprehensive portfolio of products for treating mild to severely ill Covid-19 patients. We have introduced Araflu (Favipiravir) in addition to Cytosorb and Alzumab, and Syngene has started manufacturing Remdesivir under a voluntary licensing agreement with Gilead,” said Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, executive chairperson, Biocon.

The company has also received Drugs Controller General of India's (DCGI's) approval for the commercialisation of Alzumab-L, a new 100 mg/vial formulation of Itolizumab, for treating Cytokine Release Syndrome in moderate to severe Covid-19 patients. This would replace the need to buy four vials of the previous 25 mg formulation of the drug, increasing patient convenience.

While the biosimilars segment posted 11 per cent growth on a y-o-y basis, research and generics businesses reported a growth of 12 per cent and 8 per cent respectively when compared with the corresponding quarter of the previous financial year.

“We expect the generic formulations business to continue to drive growth, based on new launches in the US for products which are currently under regulatory review. We also plan to commercialise Remdesivir in India as part of our commitment towards providing treatment for Covid-19,” said Siddharth Mittal, CEO and Managing Director, Biocon.

In the biosimilars segment, Biocon’s Insulin Glargine was commercialised in the US by partner Mylan during the quarter, heralding its entry into the US insulins market. 

“As a part of our commitment to enable universal access to affordable insulins in low- and middle-income countries we also rolled out our ‘Mission 10 cents’ in the Philippines. While we continue to see strong demand for our products globally, we are experiencing some operational challenges which have prevented us from achieving our full potential,” said Christiane Hamacher, CEO & Managing Director, Biocon Biologics.

“However, we are confident of addressing these, going forward, as a part of our commitment to expand access to life-saving, quality biosimilars including monoclonal antibodies and insulin analogs, for millions of patients across the globe,” she added.

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