India’s Biocon seeks partner to test generic Wegovy, Ozempic in China

India’s Biocon is searching for a partner in China to test generic versions of Novo Nordisk’s hot-selling diabetes drug Ozempic and weight loss treatment Wegovy, a senior executive told Reuters.

Biocon, which aims to eventually launch generic versions of the injectable drugs globally, wants to find a Chinese partner for clinical trials on 500-plus patients so they can be sold in the world’s second-biggest economy, said Amit Kaptain, Biocon’s head of commercial active pharmaceutical ingredients business.

“We will find it challenging to do it by ourselves because it’s at least about a $12 to $15 million investment,” Kaptain said, referring to a clinical trial required in China.

Biocon’s CEO told Reuters earlier this year that the company was preparing to conduct a clinical trial next year if needed.

Biocon’s generics would join at least 15 other generics or biosimilars in development by Chinese drugmakers ahead of an expiry of patent protection on semaglutide, a key ingredient in both Ozempic and Wegovy, in early 2026 in China.

At least two local firms have already applied to begin commercial sales.

Huge demand for Wegovy and Ozempic – which is sometimes used unofficially as a weight-loss treatment – have helped to turn Novo Nordisk into one of Europe’s most valuable companies.

The number of adults who are overweight or obese in China is projected to reach 540 million and 150 million, respectively, in 2030, up 2.8 and 7.5 times from 2000 levels, according to a 2020 study, by Chinese public health researchers.

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