Biocon Biologics, the biosimilar subsidiary of Biocon, provided 7,000 doses of Itolizumab for treatment of Covid-19 patients in April, three times more than last year, and re-aligned its focus to deliver Covid-19 treatment drugs faster, its top executive said.
The company does not look at Covid-19 related drugs as a business opportunity; it expects higher growth this fiscal year on the back of new biosimilar launches in both emerging and developed markets, Arun Chandavarkar, managing director of Biocon Biologics, told ET in an interview.
Biocon Biologics said it aims to achieve $1 billion in revenue sooner.
“We have grown 21% (in FY21), but next year, we’re projecting to grow significantly better. Growth was impacted partly by Covid-19. There have been delays in the approvals, repurposing of healthcare projects,” said Chandavarkar.
Therefore, the company has also withdrawn its $1 billion revenue guidance by FY22, intending to reach that sooner than later, he said.
“So, broadly speaking, I would say that we have given up to 2-3 year window for the IPO and we stick to that,” he added.
Shreehas Tambe, deputy CEO of Biocon Biologics, said the second wave of Covid-19 has seen an surge in demand for Remdesivir and Itolizumab.
“In April alone, we have been able to treat close to 7,000 patients with Itolizumab, which is probably close to three times the peak of what we saw in the previous year. So, we’ve really been focused on ramping up capacity seeing the upsurge in demand and we don’t have a capacity constraint today,” he said.
Biocon Biologics said its biosimilars saw good growth last year and the reprioritisation of healthcare budgets across the globe due to the pandemic was unlikely to result in a structural change.
Even if chronic diseases have taken a back seat with the pandemic overwhelming healthcare agencies, the underlying need to address chronic diseases continues, said Chandavarkar.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has given us an even larger opportunity to shape the global biosimilar landscape,” he said, adding that healthcare systems across the world would look to leverage both generics and biosimilars to contain medical costs.
The company will continue to focus on emerging and developed markets.
“If we look at recombinant human insulin, we were present in 100-plus countries. If you look at our biosimilar Trastuzumab, Zedora is the leader in the private market in Brazil with a high double-digit market share. We are the only company from India to have five products (Biologics) approved in Europe and three in the US. We are the only company from India to have a product approved in Japan,” Chandavarkar said.
Emerging markets are very important for Biocon Biologics to expand its reach and there has been no change in its overall strategy, he added.
“We will continue to focus on both developed and emerging markets to serve patients’ needs globally. We recently hired Susheel Umesh as the chief commercial officer focused on emerging markets,” Chandavarkar added.