Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw - The 25 most influential people in biopharma today

Perfecting the hybrid R&D model

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw
Chairman and founder
Biocon

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is a powerhouse in India. While many life sciences businesses in the subcontinent have struggled to develop a winning formula, she was out striking a rich development deal on biosimilar insulin products with Pfizer. And starting out with nothing, she's forged a drug development arm that could well prove that the country's acknowledged scientific skills can translate into a thriving development industry.

Oddly enough, Mazumdar-Shaw started off in the beer business, learning a considerable amount about enzyme activity that would later bring her fortune with an industrial enzymes manufacturing business. But her most recent breakthroughs have been built on a deep understanding of the ways in which India can play a big role in the multinational pharma game.

"I really believe this is an interesting hybrid model for drug innovation," Mazumdar-Shaw recently told FierceBiotech, taking the "low-cost base in India and marrying it with the discovery skills in the U.S. and seeing if you can reduce the cost and time for drug development. We do what we do best in India and they do what they do best in the U.S."

With a 20% annual growth rate, Mazumdar-Shaw has proven that the subcontinent can create a go-go life sciences outfit with broad international connections. Her vitality has inspired a whole generation of Indians, men and women, meaning that there is tremendous potential to be tapped. The success of the industry and Mazumdar-Shaw are closely entwined.

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Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw - The 25 most influential people in biopharma today