Chairperson and Managing Director of Biocon, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, joins a galaxy of Indian celebrities, who have been honoured with the Chevalier de l'Ordre National de la Légion d'Honneur (Knight of the National Order of the French Legion of Honour) by the French government.
The entrepreneur, who will receive the award later this year in recognition for her outstanding contribution to biosciences and research globally, is not one to sit on her laurels, however, and plans to take her company to even greater heights. Excerpts from an interview.
It has been an interesting year for you. How does it feel?
It has been an exciting year at Biocon. We have made significant advances in our mission to address global healthcare and recently moved a step closer to enabling affordable access to critical treatment for HER2-positive breast cancer with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) agreeing to review our regulatory submission for our proposed biosimilar Trastuzumab in Europe. EMA has also accepted our regulatory application for biosimilar Pegfilgrastim, used to stimulate the growth of new, healthy, white blood cells (WBCs) in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. The regulatory filings are expected to pave the way for the launch of our biosimilars in Europe.
You are only the second Indian to join Giving Pledge, the billionaire philanthropic group started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010. Do you think more women entrepreneurs will take inspiration from you?
Philanthropy has been close to the hearts of many women entrepreneurs. They have been contributing generously to philanthropic causes across the world. I am sure we will see many more women leaders and entrepreneurs in India joining the expanding club of philanthropists.
Do you have any new initiatives in the pipeline at Biocon?
We believe that the current financial year will set the stage for Biocon to emerge as a leading global player in the realm of biosimilars. We are developing a high-value portfolio of six biosimilars for cancer and auto-immune indications and three generic insulin analogs . We have made significant headway in the clinical development programme of some of these important molecules.
Another major achievement this year was the launch of our biosimilar Insulin Glargine in a highly regulated market like Japan. We see this as a significant milestone in our journey to make a global impact in diabetes management through our affordable biosimilar insulins.