Biocon Ltd has acquired a Chennai-based research and development (R&D) facility from Pfizer Healthcare India Ltd through its subsidiary Biocon Biologics. The acquired R&D facility, spread across 60,000 square feet, is expected to be operational in a few months. The facility will house an early-stage research and innovation centre with over 250 scientists. Biocon Biologics currently has an R&D centre in Bengaluru, and has a product pipeline of 28 molecules including 11 with Mylan, a few with Sandoz and rest on its own.
In its annual report 2019, Biocon said it is consolidating the development, manufacturing and commercialization operations of its biosimilars business under Biocon Biologics with its own dedicated management. Singapore state investor Temasek, private equity firm True North, and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) were reportedly in separate discussions with Biocon Biologics India to acquire a minority stake for close to $300 million. The Indian pharmaceuticals sector has largely been dominated by manufacturing of generic drugs for decades and is emerging as an important player in the biosimilars market. Unlike generic drugs, biosimilars are more difficult to make and cannot be replicated. In 2017, drugmaker Aurobindo Pharma Ltd bought four biosimilar products from Swiss firm TL Biopharmaceutical AG, marking its entry into the evolving biosimilar space.