India Envisaged as a $100 Billion Biotech Hub

Introduction

The Indian Biotechnology sector is expected to grow from the current US$ 5-7 billion to US$ 100 billion by 2025 by doubling the growth rate of this sector from 15 percent to 30 percent, according to the Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE). India has no dearth of talent in this sector, as a number of institutions, both government and autonomous, provide the necessary opportunities to students seeking to obtain a degree in this field. The Government of India has provided adequate scope to this sector by providing facilities for research and development (R&D) in the field of Biotechnology.

Market size

The Indian biotech industry holds about 2 per cent share of the global biotech industry. The Biotechnology industry in India, comprising about 800 companies, is growing at an average rate of 20 per cent. This sector is expected to grow from the current US$ 5-7 billion to US$ 100 billion by 2025, as per Union Minister for Science and Technology Mr Harsh Vardhan.

Major contributors of revenue in Biotech sector:

  • Biopharma – is the largest sector contributing about 64 % of the total revenue
  • Bioservices - 18 %
  • Bioagri – 14%
  • Bioindustry - 3% and
  • Bioinformatics contributing 1 %

The high demand for different biotech products has also opened up scope for the foreign companies to set up base in India. India has emerged as a leading destination for clinical trials, contract research and manufacturing activities owing to the growth in the bioservices sector, which accounts for revenue generation worth about US$ 636.73 million.

Investments

India's biotech sector has attracted significant attention over the past two decades. Several global companies have joined hands with Indian companies due to India's strong generic Biotechnology potential. Some of the recent investments in this sector are as follows:
  • Shantha Biotechnics Private Limited has started building a facility to manufacture Insuman, an insulin product to treat diabetes. French pharmaceutical company Sanofi SA, which acquired Shantha Biotechnics in 2009 through its vaccines division, Sanofi Pasteur SA, is investing Rs 460 crore (US$ 69.31 million) to build the facility that, at full capacity, will produce 60 million Insuman cartridges annually, company executives said.
  • Hyderabad headquartered vaccine manufacturer Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL), part of the National Dairy Development Board, is setting up a new vaccine manufacturing facility in Puducherry involving an investment of Rs 300 crore (US$ 45.20 million). This is the fourth facility for IIL, which currently has two facilities in Hyderabad and one in Ooty.
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb and Syngene International, the contract research subsidiary of Biocon, have announced a five-year extension of their drug discovery and development collaboration in India.
  • The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) through its Centre for Incubation of Technologies (BARCIT) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with M/s Veena Industries, Nagpur, for incubation of technology for biodegradable and edible films for food and pharmaceuticals packaging.
  • Aurobindo Pharma announced that its Board of Directors have approved the proposal for setting up a Joint Venture (JV) with Tergene Biotech, a vaccine development company based in India. Tergene is currently working on development of the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) through use of novel vaccine technology compressing time and cost, thereby, making such vaccine available at an affordable cost.

Government Initiatives

A Network of Technology Centres and promotion of start-ups by Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) are among the steps taken by the Government of India to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the agro industry proposed by the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) in a new scheme. The Government of India has taken several initiatives to improve the Biotechnology sector in the country as well as offer enough scope for research in this field. The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) along with other government funded institutions such as National Biotechnology Board (NBTB) and many other autonomous bodies representing the Biotechnology sector, are working together in order to project India as a global hub for biotech research and business excellence.

Road Ahead

With the country offering numerous comparative advantages in terms of R&D facilities, knowledge, skills, and cost effectiveness, the Biotechnology industry in India has immense potential to emerge as a global key player.

India constitutes around 8 per cent of the total global generics market, by volume, indicating a huge untapped opportunity in the sector. Outsourcing to India is projected to spike up after the discovery and manufacture of formulations. Hybrid seeds, including GM seeds, represent new business opportunities in India based on yield improvement.

India currently has a marginal share in the global market for industrial enzymes that is estimated to reach about US$ 4.4 billion by 2015. Hence, there is an opportunity in focused R&D and knowledge-based innovation in the field of industrial enzymes, which can innovatively replace polluting chemical processes into eco-friendly processes that also deliver environmental sustainability. Another interesting field of study is the area of bio-markers and companion diagnostics, which will enable to optimise the benefits of biotech drugs.

India has all the ingredients to become a global leader in affordable healthcare. If there is an annual investment of US$ 4.01 billion to US$ 5.02 billion in the next five years, the biotech industry can grow to US$ 100 billion by 2025, with a 25 per cent return on investment, and set a growth rate of 30 per cent year-on-year.

References: Press Information Bureau (PIB), Media Reports and Press Releases, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Department of Biotechnology. Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and www.myexamplan.com is not responsible for any errors in the same

About the blogger: Shruti is a consultant at MyExamPlan.com. She can be reached at shruti@myexamplan.com