True North $100-Million Investment in Biocon Biologics Kicks Off New Fundraising Round

January 7, 2020
Maggie L. Shaw

Indian private equity firm True North could soon hold a 2.44% minority stake in Biocon Biologics India Ltd, a subsidiary of Biocon Ltd, thanks to a $100-million investment. The influx of cash values Biocon Biologics at close to $3 billion. The investment is pending regulatory approval.

Indian private equity firm True North could soon hold a 2.44% minority stake in Biocon Biologics, after its planned merger with Biocon Research, parent company Biocon Ltd said in a statement. This is thanks to a $100-million investment approved by the Biocon Biologics Ltd board, which values Biocon Biologics at close to $3 billion. The investment is pending regulatory approval.

“This investment is an endorsement of the value that Biocon Biologics has demonstrated as a global biosimilars player, having commercialized three of its molecules in developed markets like EU, U.S., Japan and Australia,” stated Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, MD, chairperson and managing director, Biocon.

True North has invested in Biocon twice before. In 2014, when it was known as India Value Fund Advisors, the fund acquired an almost 10% stake in Syngene, Biocon’s contract research arm, and in 2003, it invested in Biocon in a pre-IPO round (the company went public in 2004).

“Biosimilars is a fast growing industry that addresses a fundamental need of bringing affordability to specialized effective biologic products. Biocon Biologics has been one of the global leaders with their early success in developing and commercializing multiple products across geographies,” added Satish Chander, partner, True North.

The current investment also represents the initial move in a new round of fundraising in 2020 that could bring in $200 million to $300 million for Biocon Biologics. Other potential investors include Temasek Holdings, a Singapore government-owned investment firm, and CDC, the UK government’s investment arm. The Biologics arm of Biocon has seen enormous growth since it was formed in 2017, and it is on target to hit $1 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2022.

Thanks to its partnership with Mylan, Biocon received its first FDA approval in 2017 for the biosimilar trastuzumab, Ogivri, which recently became commercially available in the United States. The biosimilar pegfilgrastim, Fulphila—the first biosimilar to pegfilgrastim available in the United States—was approved in 2018, and Biocon’s manufacturing facility for it this past November. Altogether, Mylan and Biocon Biologics have produced 11 molecules.