Biocon chief outlines go-go biotech expansion plan, chides regulators

The chairperson of India's Biocon, the always outspoken Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, has outlined some new steps aimed at keeping the biotech's growth rate roaring along at breakneck speed. She told reporters today that the company will list its research services arm, with plans to use the money to fund expansion of its R&D services work. And she laid into India's regulators for unnecessarily slowing down R&D work in the subcontinent's growing biotech industry.

"Syngene (the research services division) has the potential to grow at least 20% per annum and we're keen to make sure that growth is sustainable," Mazumdar-Shaw said in an interview with Bloomberg. And she added that the company's contract research arm is growing at a 21% annual rate.

Biocon has been a busy player in the global biotech industry over the past year. The company snagged a landmark licensing pact with Pfizer and has invested $160 million in a research and manufacturing complex at Malaysia's Bio-Xcell. She also told Bloomberg that three new cancer drugs--Atsure (Gemcitabine), Xtide (oxaliplatin), Adnexa(epirubicin)--would be launched soon in India.

But for all the rapid growth at the biotech--often cited as the largest in India--Mazumdar-Shaw made it clear she is not in the least bit happy with frequent regulatory delays in the clinic.

"The way the trial approvals are given, it does not mirror what is happening in other parts of the world," she said, according to a report in the Hindustan Times. "For every protocol change, we need to seek new approval. So as a result trial which requires x amount and time is going up by three to four times. Many companies feel that it is not optimal to do these studies in India because time is money."

- read the story from Bloomberg
- here's the Hindustan Times report