According to a release from the Andhra Pradesh Government reported by a number of Indian media outlets, Biocon’s Managing Director Kiran Shaw met Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu at his residence Sunday to inform him of plans for a new manufacturing facility in Vizag in the next six months.
Biopharma-Reporter.com contacted Biocon for confirmation, and a company spokesperson said: “Biocon has been planning to set up a Bio-manufacturing facility at Pharma-city SEZ [Special Economic Zone] in Vizag.” No specific details are being provided at this stage.
The company has already launched two proprietary monoclonal antibody drugs – Alzumab (Itolizumab) for psoriasis and Biomab (Nimotuzumab) for glioma – but the firm is also investing in insulin products through construction of a $200m facility in Malaysia set to open next year, and biosimilars.
Earlier this year, Biocon and Mylan became the first companies to launch a biosimilar in India following approval of their version of Roche’s Herceptin in December 2013. Known as Canmab, the drug is “a testament to our significant investments in state-of-the-art research tools,” Biocon said in its annual report and despite being criticised by patient groups over its cost, is the world’s lowest priced trastuzumab.
Alzumab and Canmab are manufactured at the firm’s 200,000sq ft facility in Bangalore, one of the largest biomanufacturing plants in India, and also the site of a training academy the firm has set up in order to address the shortage of biotech workers in the country.
Furthermore, Biocon operates a third-party contract manufacturing subsidiary, Syngene, which – along with Kemwell – is one of two firms offering India-based biomanufacturing services to Western firms.