Boosted by robust growth in the biopharmaceuticals segment, Biocon Ltd on Thursday reported a 24.55 per cent increase in its net profit to Rs. 100.75 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 2010 over the same period last fiscal.

The company had posted a net profit of Rs. 80.89 crore in the corresponding period last year, Biocon said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Net sales for the third quarter this year rose to Rs. 728.05 crore from Rs. 635.12 crore in the same year ago period, up 14.63 per cent.

The company said during the quarter it achieved its highest ever quarterly Profit After Tax (PAT) at Rs 101 crore.

“Biocon has delivered the highest ever PAT this quarter and has crossed the Rs. 100 crore mark. The operating margin has also increased to 24 per cent this quarter reflecting the improved quality of earnings,” Biocon Chairman and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said.

The pharma segment continued to be the growth driver contributing Rs. 649.16 crore to the total revenue for the third quarter while Contact Research and Manufacturing Services chipped in with Rs. 79 crore.

Further commenting on the financial performance, Ms. Shaw said increased profitability would enable the company to invest in advancing research programmes and expand manufacturing and marketing partnerships, “which we believe, are catalysts of growth for the future”.

The company said preliminary efficacy data announced from phase III clinical trails on oral insulin candidate ‘IN-105’ showed encouraging results in patients with type 2 diabetes.

“Insulin data trial would be put to good use and based on the encouraging results, Biocon is committed to continue its global development of IN-105 in partnership with a global pharmaceutical partner for which we plan to initiate the discussion shortly,” Ms. Shaw said.

Phase III clinical trials are tests conducted on a bigger sample size of up to 3000 patients for a new drug molecule.

The company also said the phase III clinical trials for the Anti-CD6 targeting monoclonal antibody (T1h) programme for psoriasis are ongoing.

Patient enrollment for this has been completed and the primary end point is expected to be evaluated in Q1 of next year, it added.

During the quarter, Biocon had announced an initial investment of about $161 million to set up a bio- manufacturing and research and development facility in Malaysia. It is expected to start operations by 2014.

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