Updated on 15 January 2013
There are mixed opinions over whether this would impact Biocon's prospective partnerships with global drug giants in the future and whether it has affected the global community's confidence in Indian companies. "Definitely, there will be some dent in the trust factor. But Biocon as a brand is strong enough to tide over this scenario. They already have many regional partners and will continue to do their business," says Mr Kapil Khandelwal, director, Makven Capital, while pointing out that every partnership deal goes through extensive scientific, commercial and market due diligence with milestones clearly articulated. "Hence, if any deal goes through or fails, it is dependent on its merits and achievement of milestones and not on the overall corporate performance. Biocon's future partnerships with MNCs will be based on the diligence of the research milestones and future potential of the product. Current termination will not have any impact on the future partnerships," he remarks.
Regardless of the consequences of this deal annulment, MNCs are here to stay in India. "At the end of the day, India is a big market for MNCs and they will never think of restricting themselves from striking collaborations with Indian companies and investing in the country," adds Mr Sudarshan Padmanabhan of Prabhudas Lilladher. The question remains as to who could be Biocon's next prospective commercialization partner who could give the former the same bandwidth as Pfizer. "Globally today, Novo-Nordisk, Eli-Lilly and Sanofi Aventis are the leading names in the insulin market. Biocon can look at these partners," says Mr Kapadia of Centrum Capitals.
How hot is biosimilars?
Biosimilars was slated as the hot segment for investment by Indian companies. Yet it has not taken off the way it was predicted two years ago. "Indian companies are yet to grapple with the fact that biosimilars is a different ball game than small molecules. There is no room for short cuts in biosimilars research. The research is complex and investments in time and money are huge. Also, marketing them in markets such as the EU and the US require strict adherence to quality standards," says an industry expert who did not want to be named.