BANGALORE, India -- Indian drugmaker Biocon Ltd. reported a three-fold jump in second-quarter profit Tuesday, largely augmented by a one-time gain of 2.03 billion rupees ($31.15 million) from the public listing of its research services unit Syngene.
The company said consolidated revenue rose over 11 percent to 8.28 billion rupees (about $127 million) in the second quarter on higher demand for its research services from global pharmaceutical companies. Biocon’s contract research business accounts for about 26 percent of its annual revenue.
Terming it a “stable performance,” Chairman and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said the company also continues to focus on developing biosimilars -- copies of biological medicines that involve costly genetic engineering, but are expected to have a large market in the coming years -- in emerging markets. The company is in the process of developing several biosimilar drugs, including for cancer and diabetes.
Mazumdar-Shaw said that five of the company’s biosimilars programs are on track for regulatory filings in the U.S. and Europe in the 2017 financial year. The expansion of its biosimilars facility in the southern Indian city of Bangalore is also on track for regulatory clearances in the 2018 financial year, Mazumdar-Shaw added in a statement Tuesday.
Biocon, which is partnering with Mylan Inc. to develop four biosimilar molecules, said it made good clinical progress in the second quarter.
The global biosimilars market is predicted to reach sales of $25 billion by 2020, according to a 2014 Thomson Reuters report. However, the high cost of development and stringent regulatory processes have slowed the progress of Indian companies in lucrative Western markets. Only three Indian companies -- Biocon, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. and Intas Pharamceuticals Ltd. -- are currently working on developing biosimilars.
"Biosimilars is a big opportunity," Sujay Shetty, leader of the life sciences practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers India told Reuters. "But unlike generics, it is not yet an opportunity (for Indian companies) in the U.S."