Wockhardt's Rs 200-cr Biotech Park at Aurangabad inaugurated

Our Bureau, HyderabadSaturday, September 25, 2004, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Wockhardt Biotech Park, India's largest biopharmaceutical complex with six dedicated manufacturing plants at Aurangabad has been inaugurated on Thursday by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the President of India. The Rs 200-crore state-of-the-art biopharmaceutical complex, spread over 3 lakh square feet, has capacities to cater to 10 per cent to 15 per cent of the global demand for major biopharmaceuticals. The new generation complex is backed by Wockhardt's intensive research and development programme, which has the intellectual strength of over 400 scientists, 80 of whom are working on breakthrough technologies in the area of biopharmaceuticals. Wockhardt chairman, Habil Khorakiwala announced that Wockhardt scientists have made a technology breakthrough by developing and mastering the technology to make glargine, a new generation advance on insulin. "We will initiate phase III clinical trials with Glargine and we expect to introduce it in India in next 18 months," Khorakiwala said. With the introduction of glargine and convenient delivery devices like pens, Wockhardt will have a comprehensive range of products for the management of diabetes. Wockhardt's Wosulin (recombinant insulin), launched last year, has captured a 20 per cent share of the new prescriptions. Wockhardt's entry into this market led to a 40 per cent drop in price, which has led to a 20 per cent increase in usage of insulin by diabetic patients in India. "India has the world's largest diabetic population of over 30 million and we are happy that our scientists have been instrumental in reaching insulin to a wider population of Indian diabetics," Khorakiwala said. After expanding the insulin market and making the product affordable, Wockhardt is now seeking to empower Indian diabetics with knowledge on management of the disease. The company has launched a dedicated website for diabetics in nine Indian languages. The company has leveraged its biotechnology strength to offer cost-effective solutions for treating chronic ailments. "In the case of diseases like cancer, the body's immune system finds it extremely difficult to handle the cancer cells. Biotechnology products like interferon, which we expect to launch next year, help improve the immune defence system," Khorakiwala added. "Biotechnology is a key component of our global strategy," Khorakiwala said adding, "We are targeting a 100-fold increase in biotech exports to Rs 100 crore by 2006." The exports will come from Wockhardt's three key biotechnology drugs - Wepox (erythropoietin), Wosulin (recombinant insulin) and Biovac B (Hepatitis B vaccine.)