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Biocon Launching a New Cancer Drug in India Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
2649 2152 Words (7 Pages) Sunil Gupta, Das Narayandas Harvard Business School : 508026
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Biocon was an enzyme manufacturing company that used to export to the US and Europe. After becoming successful, the company started to produce insulin. When the company succeeded, it created a venture with CIMAB to develop a proprietary drug and market it in the Indian market with the name of BIOMAb. The drug was the first proprietary drug launched by an Indian company to treat head and neck cancer. The company's main target was India, which had the greatest number of head and neck cancer deaths. After launching phase 2, the case talks about the company's problem. The problem of clinical trials of phase 3 as the competitors was ready to launch their phase 3, and the company wanted to win the race, so the case talks about whether the company should wait or should Immediately launch phase 3 and talks about the pros and cons of both decisions.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. Assuming that Biocon receives approval for BIOMAb, should it launch the drug immediately or conduct phase-3 trials before launch? Elaborate on the various elements of your action plan.

  2. How big is the current and future market opportunity for BIOMAb?

  3. Who is the buyer for BIOMAb? What is the decision-making unit in the case? What are the benefits that each member of the decision-making unit seeks from BIOMAb?

  4. Develop a detailed launch plan for BIOMAb. Provide your rationale for the product portfolio, pricing, channel and communication decisions.

  5. How has Biocon’s strategy and positioning evolved over the years? What role does BIOMAb play in Biocon’s overall strategy?

  6. How do you think Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has influenced/shaped the firm? Why?

Case Analysis for Biocon Launching a New Cancer Drug in India

1. Assuming that Biocon receives approval for BIOMAb, should it launch the drug immediately or conduct phase-3 trials before launch? Elaborate on the various elements of your action plan.

If DCGI and the FDA approve the BIOMAb, the company should think about both before launching. If Biocon launches the drug immediately, they will be the first to enter the market, so they will gain a mover advantage over their competitors. Biocon will be an advantage for Erbitux as they have passed phase 3 and will later be introduced in India, so working immediately will help them. There are many obstacles that the company has passed through, so their launching immediately will be beneficial. The first obstacle is being approved, and the second will be the successful launch of phase 2. The price barrier has also been broken by phase 2 as it was quite cheaper for people than other drugs. Biocon will become the first company to launch proprietary drugs in India. 

The Indian authorities may take a while with phase 3 trial as they have no experience with propriety drug as they did in Phase 2 trials, but the negative side of introducing the drug immediately will cause problems like the potential customer of Biocon are self-paying, so the price plan should be more friendly for the patient. Introducing USD6000 per course will be very expensive for the patient. So, taking time will help them make a plan that will provide the drug at a discounted price. If Biocon conducts the phase 3 trial before launch, they won't be the first one, but later they will cover all the losses, in the long run, so it's not a big disadvantage, as BIOMAb will be entering the Indian market for the first time so they should be entering with full force. Biocon can't miss any oncologists in this market as there is a total of 300. The direct sales force can also be rolled out, which will help the company a lot as roots can be developed in the Indian market, and the awareness of the new drug can be raised, so the company should launch the drug after conducting phase 3 test.

2. How big is the current and future market opportunity for BIOMAb?

The company mainly focuses on two body parts, so if talking about the current marketing opportunity that Biocon has with BIOMAb is head and neck Cancer victims in India, which are nearly 1900 patients. As Biocon has focused on Head and Neck patients so they will be the main target market for the company, but as Rao came to know about the off-label usage so the target will be all the cancer patients in India who can afford the treatment on their own, which are 7114 patients. If talking about the short term, the economic growth rate of the company is 9% annually, and the population base, which is 1.4%, will grow. This growth will impact Indian-based estimates to rise at speed every year. If we talk about the long term or the future, then the introduction of BIOMAb is just a start to rise. CIMAB and Biocon's partnership will develop and take over the Indian market.

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