Biocon can still work with Pfizer, says Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

| | Updated on: May 21, 2012
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Pharma MNC, biotech major had called off $350-m deal in March

Weeks after its $350-million marketing deal with Pfizer to sell its insulin products globally was called off, Biocon said it was still interested in partnering with the MNC in other areas.

The over Rs 2,000-crore Biocon, which is India's largest biopharma company, also ruled out any plans to rope in an equity partner or sell out.

Its feisty Chairman and Managing Director, Ms Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, said the company will increasingly focus on building bigger brands in its markets.

Ms Mazumdar Shaw told Business Line in a recent interview that similar to other large organisations which are continuously reviewing their priorities, multinational pharma companies too keep looking at what gives better return on investment.

Therefore it was nothing unusual for Pfizer to revisit its partnerships. “ if you look at it, the only thing that changes for Biocon is that instead of having one global partner we have multiple partners. And in terms of the financial investments Pfizer made into this programme, we benefited hugely out of that.”

Ms Mazumdar Shaw said there were quite a few companies which were interested in “wanting equity or acquiring us”. “But I don't need that; why would I? For what? I don't need the money.” She said she is more interested in creating and building an enduring company.

The queen of biotechnology in India said she wants Biocon to be known globally as a company that delivers very affordable drugs for chronic diseases especially diabetes and cancer. “To me that is very important. Of course, if I can make oral insulin a success then I will be known as the company that radically changed (the market).”

Biocon also wants to build its Rs 300-crore health care business through a strong portfolio of brands. It plans to turn the vertical into a Rs 1,000-crore one in five years. Ms Mazumdar Shaw said she wants to take Biocon from just an API (active pharmaceuticals ingredients) manufacturer to a major brand in the market.

“So that's what we are trying to do. And our brand is very powerful because we don't just have generics, we have new products.”

She pointed out that the Biocon just completed the phase III trials in a psoriasis drug.

It plans to apply to the Union Government for approval so that the company will be the first biologic product for psoriasis in India.

Published on November 15, 2017

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