Biotechnology major Biocon on Monday said its subsidiary has joined hands with Libbs Farmaceutica to launch generic drugs in Brazil, the world’s sixth most populous country. Biocon Pharma, a unit of the company, has tied up with Brazil-based Libbs Farmaceutica to introduce generic formulations in the Latin American country, Biocon Ltd said in a statement.
Siddharth Mittal, MD & CEO at Biocon speaking to CNBC-TV18 said, “Brazil has been a very important market for Biocon. We entered Brazil more than a decade back after North America Brazil is the most strategic market for us. We forayed into Brazilian market with the sale of our APIs, then insulin and then Trastuzumab a few years back.”
This partnership, which marks the entry of Biocon’s generic formulations into Latin America, builds upon a successful association with Libbs, which began in 2017 to launch biosimilar Trastuzumab in Brazil. It reflects Biocon’s commitment to make affordable healthcare accessible for patients the world over, by establishing a strong global presence for its formulation’s portfolio, either directly or through strategic partnerships.
As part of the out-licensing deal with Libbs, Biocon Pharma will be responsible for drug development and manufacturing, while Libbs will leverage its deep expertise and reach in Brazil to import, distribute and market, subject to approvals from the Brazilian health regulatory agency, ANVISA.
Siddharth Mittal said, “Brazil as a market is amongst the top 10 pharmaceutical market. We see an opportunity over $ 50-100 million on an annualised basis now this is a combination of APIs as well as generic formulation. The entire generic formulation business is roughly $70 million and this size is small and within that, there is a huge potential for growth in the Brazilian market and we look at Brazil other than China which is also becoming an important market amongst the top three markets for us.”
Talking about competition in Biosimilars Mittal said, “Off late we have seen many more companies get approval and many launches have happened. More the number of sellers the competition would be high but, in a way, we think it is early days, unlike generics where it takes a very short period of time to take a good market share. In biosimilars, our belief is it will take few years before you really get a good market share.”
Biocon Limited, publicly listed in 2004, is an innovation-led global biopharmaceuticals company committed to enhance affordable access to complex therapies for chronic conditions like diabetes, cancer and autoimmune diseases. It has developed and commercialized novel biologics, biosimilars, and complex small molecule APIs in India and several key global markets, as well as generic formulations in the US and Europe. It also has a pipeline of promising novel assets in immunotherapy under development.