The contract is for recombinant human insulin (rh-Insulin) cartridges and re-usable insulin pens. Biocon’s rh-Insulin is the first locally manufactured biosimilar biologic approved by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Authority (NPRA), for commercial sales in Malaysia.
Rapid urbanisation, changing lifestyles and sub-optimal dietary habits are thought to be leading to a high incidence of diabetes in Malaysia, with over 3.3 million people currently diagnosed. This figure is projected to cross 4.5 million by 2020.
The contract is part of the a Malaysian government initiative called the Off-Take Agreement, which aims to encourage local manufacturing of new pharmaceutical products. The intention is to lower the country’s reliance on imports and potentially increasing exports.
In addition, locally manufactured rh-Insulin could reduce the cost burden and increase access to insulin therapy for diabetes patients in Malaysia.
The Chair and Managing Director of Biocon. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, said: “It is a matter of pride that this is a ‘Made in Malaysia’ insulin product.
“We expect our Malaysian facility to cater to the growing needs for affordable insulins across the globe.”
A further advantage of the contract is that it provides opportunities for Malaysia’s biotechnology scientists and graduates to make significant contributions to global healthcare in the future.