Biocon’s subsidiary Syngene to go public soon


Bangalore : India’s biotechnology major Biocon Ltd. plans to list its wholly-owned subsidiary Syngene Ltd. on the stock exchanges in the next fiscal (2008-09), a top company official said here Thursday.

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“We believe Syngene has attained critical mass that can be leveraged to deliver a strong growth trajectory. As one of Asia’s largest and most profitable contract research firm, Syngene’s initial public offering (IPO) can deliver superior shareholder value,” Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said in a statement.

The statement, however, did not give details of Syngene’s forthcoming public issue. The company plans to approach the statutory authorities (Securities Exchange Board of India – SEBI) for listing clearances after the end of this fiscal (FY 2008).

US-based drug major Bristol-Myers Squibb entered into an agreement with Biocon in March 2007 to collaborate with Syngene in drug discovery and development at the latter’s facility in Bangalore.

Shaw also hinted at inorganic growth by scouting for overseas acquisitions. With funds from the sale of its enzymes business to the Dannish Novozymes’ subsidiary for $115 million (Rs 4.6 billion) October 2007, the company plans to expand its marketing and distribution network to sell its range of biotech products in developed markets.

In a related development, the company announced a strategic pact with the US-based biotech firm Iatrica to co-develop a new class of immuno-conjugates for targeted immunotherapy of cancers and infections diseases.

The products will be developed at Biocon’s facility in Bangalore on Iatrica’s technology platform.

“Iatrica’s technology enables development of immunoconjugates that are capable of activating potent targeted immune responses against various tumors or pathogens,” Biocon said in the statement.

Both the partners will leverage and integrate their synergistic R&D expertise to formulate and test next-generation antibody-based immuno-conjugates that are more effective than current therapeutic antibodies against cancers and infectious disorders.

“The collaboration will dovetail Iatrica’s cutting-edge technology and research expertise with our expertise in development, manufacturing, and clinical testing of biologic therapeutics,” Shaw noted.

As a start-up, formed in 2007 with technology developed at Johns Hopkins University in Balitimore, Maryland state, Iatrica has exclusive licenses to immuno-conjugate technology invented by Johns Hopkins scientists and company co-founders Atul Bedi and Rajani Ravi./Eom./fb/17:55.