Biocon to boost contract research biz

By Emilie Reymond

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pharmacology

Indian biotech firm Biocon is planning to boost its contract
research business as global pharma companies are increasingly
looking to outsource R&D to India, according to media reports.

Last week, the Bangalore-based company said it will focus on increasing the share of its research services segment to a quarter of its total revenue in the next five years, Reuters reported. Currently, contract research services generate 15 per cent of the company's revenue, the firm said. Research to develop pharmaceuticals can be carried out in India at about one-fourth of the cost in the US mainly due to the availability of a large pool of cheaper talent, said Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Biocon's chairman and managing director. "Today, there is serious pressure on big pharma companies plus small biotech companies to outsource a large part of their research,"​ she told reporters last week. This latest move comes hot on the heels of an investment from giant drug maker Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), who inked two large R&D services contracts in India this month, including one with Biocon. The US firm said that the India-based R&D boost will help it achieve "sustainable, cost-effective growth."​ BMS spokesperson Eric Miller last week told that the company planned to pump over $300m (€227m) into two new arrangements over the next eight years. As part of the first deal, Biocon, through its subsidiary Syngene International, is currently building a new R&D facility in Bangalore, which will house up to 400 Biocon scientists who will provide medicinal chemistry, biology, drug metabolism, and pharmaceutical development services on behalf of BMS. The two firms conducted the ground breaking ceremony of the new research facility at Biocon Park on last week. Biocon and BMS already had a working relationship prior to the deal, however, no further details of the current or new arrangement, or the expected facility completion date were released by Miller for "competitive reasons."

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