Biocon picks 70 per cent stake in AxiCorp

Biotechnology major Biocon announced on Monday that it has reached an agreement to acquire a 70 per cent stake in German pharmaceutical company AxiCorp GmbH for a consideration of 30 million euros or Rs 171 crore.

The deal would allow the Bangalore-based company in marketing and distributing a range of pharmaceuticals, including generics, bio-similars, biologics and innovative pharmaceutical products in Germany and Europe. Allegro Capital was the financial advisor to Biocon for the transaction.

“AxiCorp is a key strategic investment for Biocon as it heralds our European foray for biosimilars such as recombinant human insulin. Biocon is investing in AxiCorp's very impressive entrepreneurial team and its highly differentiated business model,” Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairman and managing director of Biocon said.

AxiCorp is a specialised marketing and distribution company established in 2002 by a group of industry experts to address the lucrative generics and parallel distribution market in Germany and Europe. It had a turnover of 75 million euros in 2007.

“The clinical development costs involved in commercialising bio-similars and biologics limit small and mid-sized pharmaceutical companies in Europe to participate in this emerging segment," said Dirk Ullrich, general manager of AxiCorp.

“Biocon will now make it possible for AxiCorp to assert its position in this important therapeutic segment,” Ullrich added. Shaw said that with the strategic investment in AxiCorp, Biocon has established its presence in Europe for the first time in order to directly market its injectible insulin.

Biocon has reported a net profit of Rs 292 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 2007 -- a six-fold increase over the corresponding quarter last fiscal on account of sale of its enzymes unit. It has also entered into a strategic tie-up with US-based IATRICa, Inc., to co-develop an exclusive new class of immuno-conjugates for targeted immunotherapy of cancers and infectious diseases.

The companies will co-develop products of immune responses against various tumors or pathogens. Biocon will make an equity investment in IATRICa. IATRICa is a start up biotechnology company formed in 2007 with technology developed at the Johns Hopkins University.

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