Biocon Limited, a fully integrated healthcare company was incorporated in the year 1978 as a joint venture between Biocon Biochemicals Limited of Ireland and an Indian entrepreneur, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw. The Company's business model spans the entire drug value chain, from pre-clinical discovery to clinical development and through to commercialisation and focused on biopharmaceuticals, custom research and clinical research. Biocon is an ISO 9001, ISO 14001:2004, ISO 9001:2000, ISO 15189:2003 and also OHSAS 18001:1999 certified for various levels. Biocon have two subsidiary companies for support, namely Syngene International Ltd and Clinigene International Ltd. Biocon has rapidly developed a robust drug pipeline, led by monoclonal antibodies and several other molecules at exciting stages in the biopharmaceutical value chain.
Biocon manufactured and exported enzymes to USA and Europe during the year 1979, as first of its kind. In 1989, Unilever plc acquired the Biocon Biochemicals Limited in Ireland and merges it with its subsidiary, Quest International. Also in the same year, the company had received US funding for proprietary technologies. After a year, in 1990, Biocon had scaled up its in-house research programme, based on a proprietary solid substrate fermentation technology, from pilot to plant level. Biocon's R&D and manufacturing facilities received ISO 9001 certification from RWTUV, Germany during the period of 1993. In the year 1994, the company had established the Syngene International Pvt. Ltd. as a Custom research Company (CRC) to address the growing need for outsourced R&D in the pharmaceutical sector. The commercial success of Biocon's proprietary fermentation plant leads to a 3-fold expansion during the year 1996 and also in the same year, the company had leveraged its technology platform to enter biopharmaceuticals and statins. Biocon had spearheads initiatives in human healthcare in the year 1997 through a dedicated manufacturing facility.
During the year 1998, Unilever inked a deal with ICI to sell its specialty chemicals division of which Quest International is a part. Unilever agreed to sell its shareholding in Biocon to the Indian promoters. Biocon becomes an independent entity in same period. In the year 2000, Biocon had commissioned its first fully automated submerged fermentation plant to produce specialty pharmaceuticals and also in the same year, the company had established Clinigene, India's first Clinical Research Organisation (CRO) to pursue clinical research and development. During the year 2001, Biocon becomes the first Indian company to be approved by US FDA for the manufacture of lovastatin, a cholesterol-lowering molecule. During the same year of 2001, the company's proprietary bioreactor, PlaFractor was granted a US 2001 and worldwide patent. Later on, in 2002, Clinigene's clinical laboratory of the company received CAP accreditation as the first in India. The Company had developed the human insulin on a Pichia expression system in the year 2003. Biocon created a buzz in the stock market in March of the year 2004 with its hugely successful IPO. Day 1 on the bourses closed with a market value of $1.11 billion, making Biocon only the second Indian company to cross the $1 billion mark on the first day of listing. During the same year 2004, the Syngene had established new research centre, launched INSUGEN, the new generation bio-insulin, manufactured in Asia's largest human insulin plant.
Biocon Limited and Vaccinex, Inc, collectively announced a broad strategic partnership to discover and co-develop at least four therapeutic antibody products. Biocon had signed a commercial agreement for supply of insulin API to Asia, Africa and the Middle East during the period of 2005. During the year 2006, the company inaugurated Biocon Park, India's largest integrated biotechnology hub, comprising an integrated cluster of research laboratories and manufacturing facilities spread across 90 acres in KIADB (Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board) industrial estate and also established Biocon Biopharmaceuticals, India's largest multi-product Biologics facility at Biocon Park. In the same year 2006, Biocon's Syngene and Innate Pharmaceuticals AB, Umea, Sweden conclude a cooperation agreement to jointly develop, manufacture and market virulence blockers to counteract bacterial diarrhoeal disease and also launched India's first anti-cancer drug BIOMAb EGFR.
Abu Dhabi based pharmaceutical company Neopharma had signed an MOU with the company to establish a JV to manufacture and market a range of biopharmaceuticals for the GCC countries (Gulf Cooperation Council) in the year 2007. The Company launched its Nephrology Division and a comprehensive portfolio of renal therapy products. Syngene had entered into a research partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb and completes the groundbreaking ceremony of new research facility at Biocon Park. During the identical year of 2007, Biocon signed Memorandum of Understanding with Deakin University, Australia to establish Deakin Research Institute in Bangalore. The Company divested its enzymes division for USD 115 million to Novozymes. Biocon and Neopharma signed an MOU in July of the year 2007 to establish Neobiocon, a joint venture company in Dubai's biotechnology and research park, Dubiotech.
As at January 2008, Biocon Limited and IATRICa, Inc made a strategic partnership to co-develop an exclusive new class of immunoconjugates for targeted immunotherapy of cancers and infectious diseases. In February of the year 2008, the company had acquired 70% stake in German pharmaceutical company, AxiCorp GmbH for a consideration of ?30 Million. As at June 2008, Biocon launched a Safety Device in the form of pre-filled syringes for two of its life saving products, GCSF (granulocyte-colony stimulating factor) and EPO (Erythropoietin) in collaboration with Safety Syringes Inc.