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Biocon scouts R&D pact after GE unit grabs stake in research division

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Bolstered by a fresh blast of positive new data on its insulin program and growing profits, India's Biocon today 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 7.69% 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 precise 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 1, 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 well beyond devices and into the discovery and manufacturing 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 ($NVO) Actrapid and Insulatard in a Phase III study involving 300 Type 1 patients. The goal was non-inferiority in HbA1c levels at 6 months. Biocon has been looking for a global partner on insulin since Pfizer ($PFE) dropped out of its biosimilar pact with Biocon.

- here's the Dow Jones report
- get the story from the Economic Times
- read the press release on the insulin data

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