Biocon Sep-quarter net profit sees five-fold surge on exceptional income

Employees of Biocon Ltd work inside the company's research and development centre in Bengaluru. File photo: Reuters
Driven by strong growth across biologics, small molecules and research services segments, biotechnology major Biocon on Wednesday posted a three-fold rise in consolidated net profit at Rs 1.84 billion, excluding exceptional income, for the quarter ended September 30 as compared to the corresponding period a year ago.

However, including net exceptional income of Rs 1.71 billion the net profit grew five-fold at Rs 3.55 billion for the quarter. The exceptional income was primarily due to the fair value of the company's investment in US-based Equillium. It is a biotechnology company which licensed its antibody drug candidate Itolizumab from Biocon. 

“We are greatly encouraged by the US FDA’s acceptance of an IND (investigational new drug) submitted by our partner Equillium for Itolizumab, a novel monoclonal antibody, for an orphan indication,” said Biocon Chairperson & Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw.

To fund the clinical trials Equillium has raised $65 million in its maiden public offering. Post the IPO, Biocon’s stake in Equillium stands at around 13.5 per cent.

Biocon's revenue rose 35 per cent to Rs 13.75 billion from Rs 10.19 billion in the second quarter of the previous financial year. It posted an operating margin of 29 per cent as compared to 23 per cent in Q1FY18.

A major achievement for the Bengaluru-based company in this quarter was its partner Mylan, which in June had received FDA approval for its biosimilar pegfilgrastim Fulphila, launching the drug in the US. Fulphila is the first pegfilgrastim biosimilar to become available to patients in the US. Fulphila and another cancer biosimilar Trastuzumab also received positive opinion from the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use.

“The positive opinions from the European CHMP for Biocon and Mylan’s Pegfilgrastim and Trastuzumab augur well for the future growth of our biosimilars business,” said Shaw.

Revenue from the biologics business, comprising novel biologics and biosimilars, more than doubled to Rs 3.67 billion in the quarter.

The small molecules business also saw a sharp revenue growth of 23 per cent at Rs 4.32 billion, led byrobust API sales in Latin America, Europe and West Asia.

The research services business posted a revenue growth of 25 per cent at Rs 4.19 billion, buoyed by good growth in discovery services and increased traction in thededicated R&D centres.

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