Biocon extends pact between Syngene and Bristol-Myer for five more years

Bangalore-based Biocon Ltd, India’s largest biotechnology company founded by Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw in 1978, has announced a five-year extension of its drug discovery and development collaboration in India between its contract research subsidiary Syngene International and Bristol-Myer Squibb.

Since 2007, Bristol-Myers Squibb has worked closely with Syngene and its parent Biocon to develop integrated capabilities in medicinal and process chemistry, biology, biotechnology, biomarkers, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, analytical research and pharmaceutical development at the Biocon Bristol-Myers Squibb Research Center (BBRC) in Bangalore.

This collaboration has produced six drug candidates for further study and has also helped Bristol-Myers Squibb reduce the time and costs associated with advancing new compounds to first-in-human studies.

A product currently under clinical trial was discovered at BBRC and early non-clinical development work done at BBRC has enabled most of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s small molecule assets to advance to later stages of development over the last five years.

Peter Bains, director, Syngene International, said, “We are delighted to extend our discovery and development partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb for five more years. This extension reflects the strength of our existing collaboration which has delivered many successful outcomes. The scope of Syngene’s engagement has expanded to encompass a range of integrated service offerings across the drug discovery and development continuum. We remain committed to supporting Bristol-Myers Squibb in their pursuit of developing new and innovative medicines for the future.”

Francis Cuss, executive vice president and chief scientific officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, said, “I am excited about the opportunity to continue our productive collaboration with Biocon and Syngene. The BBRC has supported the non-clinical development of a large proportion of our small-molecule portfolio assets since its inception, and is a premier example of the high-quality innovative drug hunting that is taking place in India today.”

Bristol-Myers Squibb and Syngene jointly developed the BBRC at Biocon Park in Bangalore. Over the years, BBRC has become Bristol-Myers Squibb’s largest research and development centre outside the US, housing more than 400 scientists.

Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global specialty biopharmaceutical company which is into development of innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases.

Syngene, a subsidiary of Biocon, is India's leading contract research organisation offering integrated drug discovery and development services with capabilities in medicinal chemistry, biology, in vivo pharmacology, toxicology, custom synthesis, process research and development and formulation development for small and large molecules.

Biocon has five key verticals—small molecules (APIs), biosimilars, branded formulations, novel molecules and research services. It is also into CRO through Syngene and clinical trials through Clinigene besides a drug discovery and development research arm Biocon Research.

The company counts Norwegian sovereign wealth fund Government Pension Fund Global as a shareholder and has earlier been in news for its most ambitious programme to date—development of an oral insulin drug.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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