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Biocon cancer drug heads for Pak

india Updated: Jan 19, 2007 04:44 IST

Biocon's "Made in India" cancer drug is set to cure cancer patients in Pakistan, at prices roughly 40 per cent cheaper than alternatives made by leading multinationals.

The Bangalore-based biotechnology major said on Thursday it had inked a licensing agreement with Pakistani pharmaceutical company Ferozesons Laboratories to market India's first indigenously produced cancer drug, BIOMAb EGFR, as it reported a 11 per cent rise in net profit at Rs 140 crore in the nine months which ended in December.

Pakistan's oncology market is valued at approximately $70 million. Globally, the size of monoclonal antibodies such as BIOMAb EGFR is estimated to be worth $15 billion and is growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 30 per cent.

Biocon, founded nearly three decades ago by Chairwoman Kiran Mazumdar Shaw but now emerging as an innovative drug developer after decades as a producer of industrial enzymes and fat-busting statins, said the company was exploring similar agreements in the Middle-East and South Asian regions.

"We want to offer the best in class cancer drug in Pakistan and other parts of the region at affordable rates. We are exploring similar agreements with drug manufacturing companies in the Gulf region and other countries of South Asia," Shaw said.

"Monoclonal anti-body is emerging as the most important new class of drugs in cancer therapy. The alliance with Biocon will provide affordable targeted therapy for the patients of Pakistan", said Osman Khalid Waheed, President of Ferozesons Laboratories.

Biocon said it posted Rs 710 crore in revenues in the April-December period, up 23 per cent from Rs. 578 crore in the same period of the previous year.

Besides its cancer drug, Biocon is also actively pursuing a big market for its insulin. It said it will set up an office in London and has initiated the process of introducing its insulin brand Insugen in the European markets. "The European drug regulatory agency EMEA has recently issued the definitive guidelines for insulin products. We have initiated the process and expect to receive the regulatory approval within the next 18 months", said Shaw.

Email Gaurav Choudhury: gaurav .choudhury@hindustantimes.com

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