Mylan has hired away a new India president from Biocon, its partner there

Mylan last year turned to India's Biocon for expertise on making biosimilars. This year, the generic drug maker is turning to Biocon for someone to run its extensive operations in that country.

Pittsburgh, PA-based Mylan ($MYL) says that Rakesh Bamzai has come over from Biocon to be president of its India Commercial and Emerging Markets operation. Bamzai's 20 years of experience most recently involved being president of marketing at Biocon, where he oversaw active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and branded formulations and managed a unit with more than 2,000 people. He also was in charge of Biocon's move into branded formulations and worked on brand development, not only in India but also in the Gulf Cooperation Council states. The GCC includes such countries as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

The completion of its $1.75 billion buyout of Agila Specialties, the sterile injectable business of India's Strides Arcolab, not only makes Mylan one of the largest producers of sterile injectables globally but also places it among the bigger drugmakers in India. The company has been steadily building its position there since it entered the market in 2006 with its $736 million takeover of Matrix Laboratories. Even before buying Agila, nearly half of its global workforce of 20,000 was in India. It had 8 plants there making APIs and two R&D plants in Hyderabad. With Agila, it picked up 9 manufacturing facilities in India, Brazil and Poland, 8 of which have been approved by the FDA.

Mylan and Biocon struck a deal in February of last year to partner on three biosimilars. By November, they announced they had approval to make and sell in India a biosimilar of Roche's ($RHHBY) cancer drug Herceptin. Roche had earlier said it did not intend to defend its patent there.

Mylan had been growing rapidly but last year saw that growth fall off. In November, the company reported a 25% drop in net profit and a 2% falloff in sales for its third quarter. CEO Heather Bresch promised the generic drug maker would return to form this year and set targets for 12% top-line growth and 19% growth in net income.

- here's the announcement