Having emerged as a strong player in the global generics market, pharmaceuticals major Lupin is now eyeing the biotechnology sector. The company, which had sales of R4,740 crore in 2009-10, is planning to launch its first biological drug in mid-2011.
“Lupin currently has seven proteins in different stages of development. We are now looking to launch our first biological in the Indian market by mid-2011,” said Kamal Sharma, managing director, Lupin.
Biologicals or Biosimilars are officially approved versions of innovator bio-pharmaceutical drugs, which are produced by using biotechnology. The market for biological drugs globally is pegged at well over a $100 billion.
For Lupin, Biotech is a key area of strategic focus and ‘a key part of roadmap’ for the future. “Our goal would be to see that 5-7 per cent of our business in the next five years should come from our biotech business,” said Sharma.
Biologicals are a new sector of opportunity for Indian companies as around eight major biological products having revenue of around $15 billion are expected to go off patent globally by 2013.
Lupin started its biotechnology programme three years ago and has made rapid progress since then. The biotech programme today has close to 100 personnel involved in research and support functions.