Biotech in­dus­try to emerge as global key player in fu­ture

BioSpectrum (India) - - BIO CONTENT -

In­dia is among the top 12 biotech des­ti­na­tions in the world and ranks third in Asia-Pa­cific re­gion and is the largest pro­ducer of re­com­bi­nant Hep­ati­tis B vac­cine. The sec­tor is di­vided into five ma­jor seg­ments: bio-pharma, bio-ser­vices, bio-agri, bioin­dus­trial and bio-in­for­mat­ics.

The suc­cess of biotech­nol­ogy in ex­tend­ing the fron­tiers of knowl­edge has pro­vided ben­e­fits to so­ci­ety in a wide range of sec­tors such as agri­cul­ture, medicine and health, forestry, an­i­mal hus­bandry, en­vi­ron­ment pro­tec­tion, and im­prov­ing the qual­ity of prod­ucts and ser­vices. While In­dia was not naïve in the biotech pro­cesses, the un­der­stand­ing on the process to prod­uct con­ver­sion came much later. In the last 3 decades, an up rise in the field of biotech­nol­ogy as a core sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal area has been ob­served.

Cur­rent trends

From the ini­tial strug­gling days,

In­dia has now emerged as a wellestab­lished biopharma ex­porter.

The chang­ing pro­file of health biotech­nol­ogy sce­nario in In­dia is quite ev­i­dent from its grow­ing num­ber of biotech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies. A num­ber of In­dian com­pa­nies have achieved no­table suc­cesses. For in­stance, Panacea Biotec has played ma­jor role in the erad­i­ca­tion of Po­lio dis­ease world­wide while Ban­ga­lore based Bio­con claims a quar­ter of the world mar­ket for pecti­nase, an en­zyme that breaks down the pectin in fruit juice. SII is the largest ex­porter of vac­cines to de­vel­op­ing world by vol­ume.

Cur­rently, In­dia’s biotech in­dus­try holds 2 per cent of the global mar­ket share and is the third largest in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion. In­dia has gained promi­nence as a part­ner of choice in bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion in this field and emerged as a vac­cine hub e.g., the Bio­con Bris­tol-Myers Squibb Re­search & de­vel­op­ment cen­tre (BBRC) at Ban­ga­lore, is col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween BMS and Syn­gene- a Bio­con group com­pany. Sim­i­larly, Serum In­sti­tute of In­dia ac­quired the Netherlands based Bilthoven Bi­o­log­i­cals. Do­mes­tic com­pa­nies have de­vel­oped strong ca­pa­bil­i­ties in vac­cine de­vel­op­ment. An in­jectable cholera vac­cine was avail­able in In­dia un­til 1973 which was dis­con­tin­ued due to its poor ef­fi­cacy and un­til 2012; the JE vac­cine used in In­dia was im­ported from out­side coun­try. In 2009, Shan­tha Biotech­nics has launched an in­ac­ti­vated cholera vac­cine and JE vac­cine was launched by Bi­o­log­i­cal E in 2013. In 2014, Bharat Biotech launched Ro­tavac- the vac­cine against di­ar­rhoea and ob­tained WHO pre­qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the prod­uct in 2018. Panacea Biotec ob­tained the WHO ap­proval for the Easy five TT in 2008 and in 2017 has launched the world’s first fully liq­uid hex­ava­lent vac­cine, Easy Six. One of the land­mark achieve­ments which demon­strate the po­ten­tial of In­dian Biotech in­dus­tries was the US FDA ap­proval of Bio­con’s Ogivri, a biosim­i­lar Tras­tuzumab, code­vel­oped with My­lan in Dec, 2017. To­day, In­dia re­mains un­matched for its price com­pet­i­tive­ness to

Global Al­liance for Vac­cines and Im­mu­niza­tion (GAVI). Ac­cord­ing to GAVI data, In­dia ac­counted for a dom­i­nant 60 per­cent of their vac­cine vol­ume sup­ply in 2014. Bio-ser­vices are an­other ma­jor In­dian biotech sec­tor that has ac­quired rep­u­ta­tion of lead­ing des­ti­na­tion for con­duct­ing clin­i­cal tri­als, contract re­search and contract man­u­fac­tur­ing.

In the com­ing 5 years

The In­dian biotech in­dus­try is likely to ex­pe­ri­ence sig­nif­i­cant growth on the back of in­creas­ing eco­nomic pros­per­ity, health con­scious­ness and a bil­lion-plus pop­u­la­tion base. Biotech­nol­ogy in­dus­try’s growth in In­dia is pri­mar­ily driven by vac­cines and re­com­bi­nant ther­a­peu­tics. The In­dian vac­cine man­u­fac­tur­ers have a ro­bust prod­ucts pipe­line un­der de­vel­op­ment. As these prod­ucts are launched, the de­pen­dence on im­ports will be re­duced and there will be a mar­ket choice with in­no­va­tive, af­ford­able, ef­fec­tive and safer vac­cines than what is avail­able now.

Sev­eral new vac­cines will be in­tro­duced by do­mes­tic com­pa­nies against dis­eases such as Dengue, Pneu­mo­nia, etc. Govern­ment of In­dia sees the growth of Biotech in­dus­try to reach a $100 Bil­lion by 2025, by in­vest­ing and fund­ing on re­search in­fra­struc­ture and re­search ac­tiv­i­ties. There­fore, it is the right time for

In­dian Biotech in­dus­tries to lead from the front, in­vest for in­no­va­tion, and col­lab­o­rate with each other to re­al­ize this vi­sion.

DR RA­JESH JAIN,

Joint Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Panacea Biotec Lim­ited

DR RA­JESH JAIN, Joint Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Panacea Biotec Lim­ited

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