Kiran Mazumdar Shaw
Chairman & MD, Biocon
Biocon, which started as an
enzyme manufacturer and exporter in the
early 1980s, reached new heights in global biopharma space by expanding
its presence through acquisitions and partnerships
Biocon, founded by Dr Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, boasts of world-class
research outsourcing capabilities, US FDA-compliant bio-manufacturing
facilities and a self-financed R&D pipeline.
Having many firsts to its credit, the company later created a strong
presence in the global market. The company has invested in establishing
a direct presence in two key markets - Europe and Gulf Cooperation
Council (GCC) in western Asia through subsidiaries AxiCorp, Germany and
NeoBiocon in Abu Dhabi respectively. It has also set up offices in
Brazil, Abu Dhabi and Malaysia.
Employing nearly 5,300 employees, it is regarded as the seventh largest
employer among the top 100 global biotechnology companies. With two
subsidiaries, Syngene and Clinigene, Biocon has presence in main
therapeutic areas – diabetology, cardiology, nephrology and oncology.
It has two new divisions — comprehensive care, and immunotherapy —
coming up this year.
Biocon established its presence in Middle East region by signing an MOU
with Neopharma, Abu Dhabi’s premier pharmaceutical manufacturing
company, and establishing Neobiocon, a joint venture company in Dubai
in 2007. The new venture expanded Biocon’s global network to provide
affordable bio-therapeutics for unmet medical needs. Besides the UAE,
the Dubai office will represent the company in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait,
Bahrain, Qatar and Oman.
A year later, Biocon entered the European market by acquiring a 70
percent stake in German pharmaceutical company, AxiCorp GmbH. Says Dr
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, chairman and managing director of Biocon, “AxiCorp
is a key strategic investment for Biocon as it heralds our European
foray for biosimilars like recombinant human insulin.”
On expansion plans in the global market, Ms Shaw says, “Germany is the
largest European market and we felt that this would help us gain a good
European footprint for generics and biosimilar insulins. Latin America,
Middle East, North Africa and South East Asia are some of the emerging
markets that we are focused on. We have garnered robust growth in all
these markets attributable to strong GDP growth in these emerging
Last year, Biocon further expanded its activities to Malaysia by making
an announcement for setting up a bio-manufacturing and R&D facility
with an investment of $161 million. The facility is targeted to be
operational by 2014. This investment is the largest for the Malaysian
biotechnology sector thus far.
In 2010, the pharma world witnessed one of the biggest deals ever, with
Biocon entering into an agreement with Pfizer, the world’s biggest
pharma company, under which the latter will pay $200 million to have
exclusive rights to commercialize four of Biocon’s insulin biosimilar
products in the global market.
Adding on the global strategy of the company, she added, “Partnering is
core to our global research and marketing strategy. We typically seek
marketing partnerships with strong regional players for emerging
markets and pharma MNCs for the mature markets like the US and Europe.
When it comes to R&D, we have a number of partnerships with small,
mid-sized as well as large companies.”
About the future plans, Dr Mazumdar Shaw says, “We have strong local
partners who have played a key role in garnering good market share for
our products. We are satisfied with our partnership model and have
established direct presence where we deem it necessary.”