Biocon buys 70% stake in German pharma co for €30M

Biocon buys 70% stake in German pharma co for €30M

bangalore, February 12, 2008

Biocon Ltd announced its first footprint in Europe by acquiring 70% stake in German pharma distribution company AxiCorp GmbH for C30 million (around Rs 174 crore).

Biocon now has the distribution muscle in Germany and Europe; it would first launch its branded injectible insulin Insugen, on its own in these markets and follow up with others later, said its CMD, Ms Kiran-MazumdarShaw, at a news conference.

Insugen's European launch may be 18-24 months away as it was in the process of registration with the EMEA (European Medicines Agency, the regulator).

AxiCorp, founded in 2002, is a @75-million, 170-strong company specialising in marketing and distributing lowcost drugs across Europe.

"AxiCorp heralds our European foray for biosimilars like recombinant human insulin.

"We arc very focussed on becoming a key player in insulin globally," she said. "We can deliver through a combination of Biocon's low cost manufacturing and AxiCorp's low cost distribution," Ms Mazumdar Shaw said.

The new autonomous subsidiary will introduce Biocon's generics, biosimilars, biologics and innovative pharmaceutical products, while significantly boosting the new parent's bottomline.

Germany has Europe's biggest and growing market for anti-diabetes drugs with an annual insulin sales of €950 million, according to AxiCorp's General Managers and founders, Mr Holger Gehihar and Mr Dirk Ullrich.

The buy marks the first of the expected acquisitions Biocon has planned following the nearly Rs 460-crore sale of its enzymes business to Novozymcs in July last year.

According to the AxiCorp officials - formerly with Sanofi Aventis the German company has grown on an innovative low-cost drugs model based on cheaper generic alternatives and offpatent drugs sourced from all over Europe into Germany and has launched 180 products across the continent, said it also has its own brand of discounted drugs, Axeonnt.

A senior company official said Insugen would double its markets to 40 countries by the end of this year. It was the company's first global brand, soon to enter West and South-East Asia and Latin America where the registrations were going on.

Biocon's share price on the BSE on Monday ended just oven one per cent lower at Rs 401.4 over Friday's close of Rs 405.95.