Under PLI scheme, Biocon will receive up to Rs 250-crore financial incentives over next six years- Siddharth Mittal
Biocon is today one of the largest manufacturers of statins and immunosuppressants in the world.
Biopharmaceutical firm Biocon saw a turnaround and good performance of its generics business during the October-December quarter. The company has also been selected for the PLI scheme. Siddharth Mittal, CEO & managing director, Biocon, shared the company’s growth plans with FE. Excerpts-
The generics business has turned around during the October-December quarter. Can we expect this trend to continue in the quarters ahead?
The healthy performance we delivered in our third quarter was driven mainly by the launch of Everolimus tablets in the US and a pick of demand in our API business. We expect that Everolimus will continue to contribute to growth in quarters ahead. There was also a return to normalcy in our business operations, which had been impacted by Covid-related challenges in earlier quarters. While we continue to face headwinds in the form of pricing pressures in several markets, and increased raw material and logistic costs, we are also confident that new product approvals and capacities that are being added will drive long-term growth for the business.
The PLI scheme that Biocon has been selected for — will this benefit both businesses and what does it mean for the generics business specifically?
The PLI scheme will benefit both the generics as well as the biosimilars business. Under the scheme, Biocon will receive up to Rs 250 crore in financial incentives over the next six years, linked to investments in manufacturing infrastructure in India and corresponding incremental sales. This pool will be available to both the businesses, as the scheme covers a wide range of products across biopharma, complex generic formulations as well APIs. The incentives would essentially supplement our outflows towards our capex investments.
You talked about a return to normalcy after Covid-related challenges. Do you anticipate any new disruptions with the current spike in cases?
Data indicates that Omicron, although more transmissible, is not as severe as its predecessor variants.We hope that with mass vaccinations we will encounter minimal disruption to business. While the eventual impact of the new variant is yet to be seen, we are better prepared to deal with disruptions, if any, from past learnings and adaptations.
Please throw a little more light on the importance of the new greenfield immunosuppressant facility for the business.
Biocon is today one of the largest manufacturers of statins and immunosuppressants in the world. While we continue to see significant global demand for these APIs, we were unable to serve our customers due to capacity constraints at our existing facilities. The new greenfield facility will help us address this need and strengthen our commitment to provide affordable solutions for patients across the globe.
Everolimus contributed to your growth. What other similar products do you have in your pipeline for approvals in the near term?
Our formations business strategy has been to globally commercialise a portfolio of complex generic drug products with relatively higher entry barriers, by leveraging our existing API expertise. We have a differentiated portfolio of over 35 drugs, 8 of which are commercial in the US and 6 more that have been approved or received tentative approval. We recently received an ANDA approval for Mycophenolic Acid Delayed-Release tablets from the USFDA. With site inspections by regulatory agencies resuming slowly but steadily, we expect product approvals to accelerate helping us to bring these products to market expeditiously. Apart from the US, we are also working on closing more partnerships in key focus markets,as well as to enter directly in some select European countries. In Q3, we entered into a partnership with Tabuk Pharmaceuticals to commercialise select specialty generic medicines in the MENA region.
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