Can Biocon get a $1B pharma deal for its oral insulin program?

India's Economic Times is reporting that Biocon is negotiating a blockbuster partnership deal on its oral insulin program. And the newspaper is tossing around some eye-popping upfront numbers cited by insiders on the deal.

"Given the aggressive valuation that the company is seeking for its oral insulin product, upfront fees for selling exclusive marketing rights to a potential partner could be as high as $200 million," one purported insider told the newspaper. That "aggressive valuation," by the way, was put at $1 billion. And the Economic Times also noted that both Sanofi and Bristol-Myers Squibb are rumored to be engaged in discussions.

There are, of course, some excellent reasons to doubt these kinds of reports, particularly as neither Sanofi nor BMS are known for dropping record upfront payments these days. Any number of people would also have excellent reasons to pump up the figures as Biocon hunts for the best deal it can get.

On the other hand, Biocon's IN 105 is far along in the development process, and Pfizer--which is well known for hefty upfronts--paid $200 million upfront for four generic insulin products from Biocon, a high profile biotech company on the subcontinent led by Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw.

- here's the story from the Economic Times

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