Biocon scouts R&D pact after General Electric unit takes stake in research division

Bolstered by  positive new data on its insulin program and growing profits, India’s Biocon also won a big financial backer for its R&D outsourcing arm as it prepares to take the unit public. GE Capital has agreed to pay $23 million for a 7.7% stake in Syngene, which handles contract research work for a number of big clients. And Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw says the GE deal provides Syngene with a $300 million valuation.
There’s no timeline offered on a public offering, but Mazumdar-Shaw told Dow Jones that she expects the IPO to come up in the new fiscal year starting April, 2013. And the Indian biotech chief is betting that GE Capital’s commitment can pave the way to an R&D partnership with General Electric, which has an expanding health care division that goes w into the discovery side of the business.

“This is not just a financial deal. GE will bring its vast expertise in biologics and life sciences with this deal, which will allow Syngene to look at new research opportunities,” Mazumdar-Shaw told India’s Economic Times.

Biocon reported that its development program for the insulin product Insugen met its non-inferiority goal when compared with Novo Nordisk’s Actrapid and Insulatard in a Phase III study involving 300 Type 1 diabetics. The goal was non-inferiority in HbA1c levels at 6 months. Biocon has been looking for a global partner on insulin since Pfizer dropped out of its biosimilar pact with Biocon.

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Posted on by Gunjan Bagla
Gunjan Bagla
California-based management consultant Gunjan Bagla runs Amritt, a consulting firm helping American companies to succeed in India. Amritt is the trusted advisor for India market research, India business development, India market entry, Global Engineering, Global Technology Scouting, India R&D and Open Innovation. Gunjan is author of "Business in 21st Century India: How to Profit Today from Tomorrow’s Most Exciting Market" (Hachette Book Group, 2008), Amazon's top rated title on the subject. He has appeared as the India Expert on BBC Television, Bloomberg TV, Fox Cable Business and has been quoted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Hollywood Reporter and Business Week for his expertise on India.

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