Private equity firm True North has picked up a small stake in Biocon Biologics, the biosimilars business of Biocon Ltd, for ₹536.25 crore. In a media release on Monday, Biocon said that True North’s investment would translate to a 2.44% stake after the merger of Biocon Research Ltd with Biocon Biologics. The company added that the private equity firm’s investment values Biocon Biologics at about $3 billion on a pre-money equity basis. Biocon would hold a 96.07% stake in its subsidiary after the transaction.

True North, which has invested in over 50 Indian businesses, has a combined corpus of over $2.9 billion, including co-investments. It recently bought 51% stake in Max Bupa Health Insurance in an all-cash deal. Healthcare and life sciences has been a focus sector for True North with investments of $600 million across 10 companies till date.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome back True North as a shareholder in our group. True North has been a committed investor in both Biocon and Syngene prior to listing,” said Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairperson and managing director, Biocon. “This investment is an endorsement of the value that Biocon Biologics has demonstrated as a global biosimilars player, having commercialised three of its molecules in developed markets like the EU, U.S., Japan and Australia,” she added.

Biosimilars is a fast-growing industry that addresses a fundamental need of bringing affordability to specialised effective biologic products. So far, Biocon Biologics has commercialised five biosimilars: Trastuzumab, Pegfilgrastim, Bevacizumab, rh-Insulin, and Insulin Glargine, in several markets worldwide. It has a product pipeline of 28 molecules. The company’s therapeutic basket includes molecules for diabetes, oncology, immunology, dermatology, ophthalmology, neurology, rheumatology, and inflammatory diseases.

As Biocon Biologics gains commercial success with its first wave of biosimilar products, the company plans to invest in broadening its drug pipeline, expanding manufacturing capacity, and increasing its commercial footprint. “We have thus started the value-unlocking process with the aim of investing, competing and winning in the large and growing opportunity for biosimilars,” Mazumdar-Shaw said.

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