Biocon Ltd says its tie-up with US drug maker Bristol Myers-Squibb is on track to deliver an oral insulin drug in three years in India.

The company, which is conducting advanced trials of this drug , currently offers a reusable injector for insulin, INSUpen.

Biocon’s Chairman and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar Shaw says the oral insulin could open up new a delivery mode and a new market in biopharmaceuticals. Biocon holds 15-20 per cent market share in the Indian insulin market, which is estimated at Rs 750 crore.

Biocon is working with US-headquartered generic drugs major Mylan under an agreement to develop and market an insulin drug derived from Sanofi’s patented drug Lantus.

Biosimilar drugs

Shaw says: “Biocon and Mylan are developing a portfolio of biosimilar drugs – breast cancer drug Herceptin is one. Another is Avastin. We have a strong pipeline with Mylan. Our recent launch in India, a psoriasis drug called ALZUMAb, which rolled out last month, is also doing well.”

Biosimilar drugs are officially approved copies of patented biopharmaceutical products.

The company is focussing on the biosimilar markets. Shaw says the company is expecting 20 per cent of its overall business revenue to stem from biosimilars by 2018, a majority of which will be anti-diabetic drugs. Shaw was speaking at Women2Women, an event organised by Aceer Health to help women in case of chronic health issues such as diabetes, blood pressure, and obesity.

Shaw says the occurrence of gestational diabetes is on the rise in India, and such programmes help increase public awareness.