Biocon net profit increases 79% to Rs361 crore in March quarter

Hyderabad: Biocon Ltd’s net profit rose 79% in the March quarter led by an exceptional item, improved sales at contract research arm Syngene International Ltd and moderate growth at its bio-pharmaceutical division.

The Bengaluru-based company posted a net profit of Rs.361 crore in the fiscal fourth quarter, compared with Rs.201.5 crore a year earlier. Revenue in the quarter rose 17% to Rs.979 crore from Rs.838 crore in the year-ago period.

Biocon recorded an exceptional income of Rs.268 crore in the fourth quarter. Excluding the exceptional income, net profit for the March quarter stood at Rs.105 crore.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Biocon said the exceptional item was on account of recognizing previously deferred amounts of Rs.268 crore related to clinical trial and development activities of insulin products with its Mexican partner, Lab PiSA.

For the full year to March, Biocon’s net profit rose 80% toRs.896 crore, while sales rose 13% to Rs.3,451 crore. The firm’s contract research arm Syngene contributed about a third of Biocon revenues, followed by biopharma and branded formulations.

Sales of biopharma, which consist of small molecules, active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), generic formulations and biosimilars, grew 12% to Rs.554 crore, while branded formulations reported a growth of 3% with sales atRs.101 crore for the January-March quarter.

“Biopharma growth was fuelled by a strong performance by biosimilars, including insulins and monoclonal antibodies (MAbs),” Biocon said in the statement. “Emerging markets contributed significantly this quarter with products like Trastuzumab and Insulin Glargine being commercialized in additional markets in Middle-East and North Africa (MENA) and South East Asia.”

Trastuzumab is used in the treatment of breast cancer. Insulin Glargine is a long acting insulin.

Biocon’s gross research and development (R&D) expenses for the March quarter crossed Rs150 crore on costs incurred for development of biosimilars and novel programmes. “Biocon’s gross R&D expenses at Rs.152 crore this quarter were the highest till date reflecting the advancement of our innovation-led drug pipeline comprising novels, biosimilars and ANDAs,” said Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairperson and managing director of Biocon, in the statement. “We expect to file a number of regulatory submissions in the US and Europe for many of these programmes in FY17.”

For insulin Glargine, Biocon said, the global phase III clinical development programme has crossed key interim milestones, and is on track for regulatory filings in the US and Europe. “Insulin Aspart and Lispro collaboration programs are progressing as per plan and are expected to cross critical preclinical milestones in FY17,” Biocon said in the statement.

Insulin Aspart is a fast-acting insulin, while Lispro is rapid-acting insulin.

The global phase III study for white blood cell booster pegfilgrastim has been completed and met the primary endpoint of demonstrating clinical equivalence with the reference product, the firm said.

The global clinical development of Biocon’s other biosimilars, such as Trastuzumab, Adalimumab and Bevacizumab, are making good progress, the company statement said, adding that it is on track for regulatory submissions of some of them in the US and Europe in 2016-17.