Bio Spec­trum ar­ti­cles of 2016

BioSpectrum (India) - - Bio Contents -

In a year, Bio Spec­trum cov­ers a wide ar­ray of topics from the life sci­ences sec­tor which com­prises among oth­ers biotech­nol­ogy and al­lied ar­eas, bio-pharma and pharma, health­care and med tech­nol­ogy etc.

While look­ing back it was found out that in some of the ar­ti­cles, pub­lished time to time through­out the year, some ba­sic thoughts were touched upon and a lot of new in­for­ma­tion was pro­vided to the read­ers. As we en­ter 2017, this is an ef­fort to fetch the read­ers’ at­ten­tion to top 10 topics han­dled in depth and from var­ied an­gles by Bio Spec­trum in 2016.

The Top 10 ar­ti­cles of 2016 deal with In­dia’s biotech rev­enue tar­get, its sta­tus in re­search & in­no­va­tion and the pos­si­bil­ity of its dom­i­nance in bio-sim­i­lar mar­ket, be­sides de­scrib­ing the new tech­nolo­gies like 3-D print­ing, Ther­a­nos­tics and dig­i­tal health­care.

1. Mis­sion $100 bil­lion by 2025: How will In­dian biotech achieve the am­bi­tion?


In­dia has set an am­bi­tious tar­get of achiev­ing $100 bil­lion in biotech rev­enue by 2025. This tar­get is one of the key points enu­mer­ated in the re­vised Na­tional Biotech Pol­icy, called the Na­tional Biotech­nol­ogy De­vel­op­ment Strat­egy (NBDS), un­veiled by the Naren­dra Modi gov­ern­ment in De­cem­ber 2015. This tar­get num­ber is im­por­tant. The ar­ti­cle talks about how to achieve this fig­ure.

2. Re­cre­at­ing the Sil­i­con Val­ley in In­dia


This is an ar­ti­cle about In­dian start-ups. The Sil­i­con Val­ley was never planned as it is to­day in all its awe and grandeur. It just hap­pened over decades! Yes, it did. Decades of hard work, per­sis­tence, high-end tech­nol­ogy and re­search, and an over­all con­ducive ecosys­tem lay­ing the red car­pet for all the big­gies and start-ups who showed up there with their great Amer­i­can dreams. The ar­ti­cle not only talks about the dreams but also shares some of the chal­lenges. While statis­tics shows that 90 per cent of all start-ups fail, the more risky in­dus­tries like biotech­nol­ogy and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals are see­ing in­nu­mer­able start-ups in the coun­try in an un­prece­dented man­ner. High-risk, longer ges­ta­tion pe­ri­ods, im­pa­tient in­vestors, and a not-so-con­ducive start-up en­vi­ron­ment are among a few mur­murs that of­ten slip out of en­trepreneurs’ lips.

3. Emerg­ing new wave of Ther­a­nos­tics


Imag­ine a very tiny cap­sule in­jected just be­low the skin of your arm. The cap­sule has a sen­sor ca­pa­ble of con­tin­u­ously mea­sur­ing blood glu­cose lev­els and send­ing the in­for­ma­tion to your phone. Well, let’s spice it up one level above the notch. Say, when the blood glu­cose level crosses its thresh­old, vi­su­alise the tiny lit­tle cap­sule re­leas­ing a dose of in­sulin in your blood stream. What this does is of­fer to­tal free­dom from reg­u­lar nee­dle pricks to mea­sure blood sugar lev­els, and frees pa­tients from the anx­i­ety of tak­ing the right in­sulin doses at the right time. This is the era of Ther­a­nos­tics.

4. Does In­dia need Pre­ci­sion Medicine Ini­tia­tive?


Pre­ci­sion medicine in the coun­try is con­sid­ered to be at an early adop­tion stage. A di­verse coun­try like In­dia, with over 4,000 pop­u­la­tion groups, and a sig­nif­i­cant per­cent­age of con­san­guineous mar­riages presents a high-risk and preva­lence of in­her­ited ge­netic dis­or­ders that re­quire at­ten­tion for early di­ag­no­sis, right treat­ment, and man­age­ment.

In­dia has a heavy bur­den of in­her­ited dis­eases driven by the unique ge­netic char­ac­ter­is­tics in the pop­u­la­tion. With 1.2 bil­lion peo­ple, the ab­so­lute num­ber of pa­tients suf­fer­ing from dis­eases in which ge­net­ics play a role is sig­nif­i­cantly large. Writer con­cludes say­ing that dis­eases that were pre­vi­ously a death sen­tence will be man­age­able, or even cur­able, be­cause we will be able to in­di­vid­u­alise ther­apy for each pa­tient.

5. 3D print­ing rev­o­lu­tion­is­ing health­care


This ar­ti­cle looks at the new in­no­va­tion wave of 3D print­ing. Ar­ti­cle says that to­day, 3D print­ing is an emerg­ing tech­nol­ogy to pro­duce cost ef­fec­tive, ef­fi­cient and cus­tomised body parts and med­i­cal de­vices such as den­tal im­plants, hear­ing aids, pros­the­ses, cus­tom made knee and hip im­plants, and sur­gi­cal in­stru­ments.

Ar­ti­cle also shares cou­ple of ex­am­ples on 3D prinit­ing im­ple­men­ta­tion. A 14-year-old boy from the United States has be­come the first per­son to un­dergo a suc­cess­ful nose trans­plant us­ing 3D print­ing tech­nol­ogy. Also re­cently, 3D print­ing has helped sur­geons to suc­cess­fully trans­plant a kid­ney to a tod­dler from North­ern Ire­land.

6. Can In­dia dom­i­nate the biosim­i­lar mar­ket?


Over the last 15 years, In­dian phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try from hav­ing less than 5 per cent mar­ket share in the US generic mar­ket, now has more than 25 per cent. But we are yet to see the same ad­vance­ments in biosim­i­lars. Ar­ti­cle ex­plains how In­dia can dom­i­nate in biosim­i­lar mar­ket. New ‘Biosim­i­lar Guide­lines’ of In­dia pro­vides sim­i­lar­ity in ap­proach with those in the US and Europe, cer­tainly a step in the right di­rec­tion. DBT has launched plans to pro­mote de­vel­op­ment of biosim­i­lars. Given this sce­nario, In­dia is set to make its mark in the biosim­i­lars mar­ket, the ar­ti­cle con­cludes.

7. Where In­dia stands in re­search and in­no­va­tion in bi­o­log­i­cal sci­ences?


The launch of the Man­galyaan was a proud mo­ment for In­dian Sci­ence so is the con­tri­bu­tion that the coun­try made in the de­tec­tion of grav­i­ta­tional waves. Atomic and space sci­ences are the two big ar­eas of sci­ence where the coun­try ex­cels, Bio Spec­trum as­sess re­search sce­nario in bi­o­log­i­cal sci­ences (per­haps the most ne­glected) in the coun­try.

8. Dig­i­tal health: The dawn of a new era in health­care


Tech­nol­ogy has rev­o­lu­tionised al­most all sec­tors, health­care be­ing no dif­fer­ent. The con­ver­gence of tech­nol­ogy and health­care has opened up a whole new world of pos­si­bil­i­ties that prom­ise to im­prove the qual­ity and ef­fi­ciency of var­i­ous health­care ser­vices. Bio Spec­trum just did a cover story on the topic.

9. Med­i­cal de­vices made in In­dia: A leap for health­care


The global med­i­cal de­vices and tech­nol­ogy mar­ket is ex­pected to grow to $520 bil­lion by 2020 from an es­ti­mated $3.7 bil­lion in 2014. The In­dian mar­ket is among the top twenty in the world by mar­ket size, and fourth in Asia after Japan, China and South Ko­rea. How­ever, the per capita spend on med­i­cal de­vices in In­dia is the low­est among BRIC coun­tries at USD 3. This ar­ti­cle spoke about how me­dia de­vices in­dus­try will im­prove un­der Make in In­dia ini­tia­tive and what would be gov­ern­ment’s role in this.

10. Bud­get 2017; Will start-ups get what they want?


Start-ups are play­ing an im­por­tant role in the In­dian in­dus­try in re­search, in­no­va­tion and new prod­uct de­vel­op­ment, par­tic­u­larly tech­nol­ogy driven sec­tors like biotech­nol­ogy. But their voice is not heard, not com­mu­ni­cated to the pol­icy mak­ers. Thus, de­vi­at­ing from the gen­eral prac­tice of know­ing in­dus­try’s ex­pec­ta­tions from the bud­get, this topic tries to find out how start-ups in biotech­nol­ogy sec­tors are look­ing at the Union Bud­get 2017 to be pre­sented by Union Fi­nance Min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley. Ex­perts from biotech start-ups ex­pressed their views and the wish list.

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