Pfizer To Market Biocon’s Insulin Products Globally

October 19, 2010 by
Filed under: Americas, Biotech, Europe, Healthcare, JVs, Marketing, Pharma 19, 2010, Bangalore, India: Bangalore-based biotech company Biocon has entered into an agreement with Pfizer, the world’s biggest pharma company, under which the latter will pay $200 million (about Rs 900 crore) to have exclusive rights to commercialize several of Biocon’s insulin products globally.

Under the agreement, Biocon is also eligible to receive from Pfizer an additional payment of $150 million towards further development of the drugs and to meet regulatory milestones. It would also receive payment linked to Pfizer’s sales of the insulin products.

The two companies came together on Monday to announce the agreement and said that Pfizer would have the rights to commercialize Biocon’s biosimilar versions of insulin and what are called insulin analog products – Recombinant Human Insulin, Glargine, Aspart and Lispro. An insulin analog is an altered form of insulin, different from any occurring in nature, but still available to the human body for performing the same action as human insulin in terms of glycemic control.

There are certain exceptions to Pfizer’s global rights. In Germany, India and Malaysia, it will have co-exclusive rights with Biocon. The $50-billion Pfizer will also have co-exclusive rights with existing Biocon licensees with respect to some of the products, primarily in a number of developing markets. Biocon’s much talked about oral insulin that is undergoing clinical trials in India is also not part of this agreement.

The companies indicated that the alliance’s wide portfolio of products would enable them to take on other global biggies like Novo Nordisk, Sanofi Aventis and Eli Lilly in the space.

The insulin products will be rolled out in emerging markets by 2011, followed by Europe and US in 2012 and 2015 respectively. Insulin is a $14 billion global market. By 2015, a number of insulin analogs will be out of patent protection, resulting in a significant opportunity for biosimilars.

Biocon will remain responsible for the clinical development, manufacture and supply of the biosimilar insulin products, as well as for regulatory activities to secure approval for these products in various geographies. Biocon’s Recombinant Human Insulin formulations are approved in 27 countries in developing markets, and commercialized in 23, while Glargine has been launched in its first market, India.

Biocon intends to use the $200 million it receives on capacity expansion and other research related programmes. “The capacity addition will go on stream in the next three years. The present capacity is enough to meet Pfizer’s forecast for the next 5 years,” Biocon CMD Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said. Biocon’s head of finance Murali Krishnan K N said the $200 million payment would be fully reflected in the balance sheet by 2015.

Although, insulin is the primary response to address diabetes, it remains inaccessible on an uninterrupted basis in many parts of the developing world. According to WHO estimates, 70% of people afflicted with diabetes live in low and middle-income countries with India alone accounting for 40 million patients.

Contact Information:
Biocon Limited
20th KM, Hosur Road, Electronics City
Bangalore, India – 560 100
Phone: +91 80 2808 2808 / 91 80 4014 4014
Fax: +91 80 2852 3423


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