Biocon-Mylan partnership has a potential of $33 billion from biosimilar drugs

May 9, 2012 2:34 PM

Biocon, the Indian biopharmaceutical company had made an investor presentation and the outcomes of this meeting was discussed in “The Economic Times” of India yesterday.

Two years after announcing a joint venture  (JV) with US based Mylan, Biocon has revealed the potential of its drugs under the biologics deal with Mylan.

Biocon has revealed that it is sitting on a potential $33 billion portfolio of biosimilar drugs that will expire by 2015.

In 2009, Biocon partnered with Mylan Inc to develop five complex biosimilar products. Mylan and Biocon had signed a joint venture in 2009 to develop five biosimilar drugs in the areas of cancer and pain segment.

The company will be first launching trastuzumab (Herceptin), a monoclonal antibody which is used for breast and gastric cancers and marketed by Swiss pharma giant Roche (Genentech).

“Herceptin biosimilar will be launched by end of 2013 or early 2014 in India, the drug currently is under phase III of clinical trial”, said Kiran Mazumdar Shaw. Biocon has announced that it will be developing four other drugs, peg-filgrastim (Neulasta ), bevacizumab (Avastin), adalimumab (Humira) and etanercept (Enbrel) under this JV.

According to The Economic Times, pharma companies in India are taking chances with biosimilar drugs to leverage risk from the pure generic drugs. Biosimilar drugs though complicated to crack, have a huge revenue potential. However the sheer complexity and regulatory issues can spoil this party analysts say “Its still a long way for Biocon, it is good that the drug is phase III, but till the time they get regulatory approvals the launch is uncertain”, said a pharma consultant closely working with Biocon on condition of anonymity.

Another challenge for Biocon could be the limited business opportunity. The Obama government recently enacted a law that shuns the entry of biosimilars in United States, which is the largest pharma market in the world.

“US laws don’t allow biosmilar drugs and the margins in European and developing markets are too low, so Biocon’s has to strategically price the product”, said Ranjit Kapadia, VP Centrum Capital. Biocon will also have to face Roche which has the patent for this drug, and recently it tied up with Emcure Pharmaceuticals to sell cheaper and locally branded versions in India.

Source: The Economic Times

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