Biotechnology Industry in India-Trends and Opportunities

Manthan D Janodia*1, J.Venkata Rao2 and N.Udupa1

Biotechnology is a generic term and encompasses a variety of scientific and technological applications across different sectors. Thus, biotechnology is a congregation of technologies which are synchronized to drive new products and technologies.1 The definition of biotechnology given by Ernst and Young and reported in a report prepared on Biotechnology in India by French Embassy2 is "the application of all natural sciences and engineering in the direct or indirect use of living organisms or parts of organisms in their natural or modified forms in an innovative manner in the production of goods and services and/or to improve existing industrial process. The market application of outputs is typically in the general areas of human health, food production, industrial bio-processing and other public good and environmental settings." In simple words, biotechnology is the application of science and technology to modify biological systems for specific uses, encompasses many fields from biopharma to agri-bio and biofuels, to cite a few.3
Indian Biotechnology Industry
The Indian Biotechnology Industry is one of the fastest growing industries in India. Currently India is ranked among top 12 biotech players in the world and third biggest industry in Asia Pacific in terms of number of companies in this sector. India contributes 2 % of global biotech industry. Roughly 325 companies in India operate in biotechnology sector employing an estimated 20,000 scientists. The industry achieved an annual turnover of US$ 2.5 billion in 2007-2008 which touched US$ 3 billion in 2009-2010. About 50% of biotech market in country is captured by leading 20 companies. The exports account 55% whereas domestic consumption accounts for 45% of this industry. The biopharma sector contributed nearly three-fifth to the industry’s revenues at US$ 1.9 billion, a rise of 12 per cent, followed by bioservices at US$ 573 million and bioagri at US$ 420.4 million. The remaining revenue came from the bioindustrials US$ 122.5 million and bioinformatics US$ 50.2 million segments.4,5
India Emerging Biotech Hub
India is gaining prominence as a partner of choice in bilateral cooperation in this field. India is emerging as a vaccine hub and vaccines manufactured in India is procured in large quantities internationally. Exports contribute majorly to India’s vaccine sales. Domestic companies have developed strong capabilities in vaccine development. Several multinational companies are tying up with Indian companies to market their vaccines in India. Domestic Indian companies have acquired expertise to indigenously develop and manufacture seven recombinant biotech products namely Hepatitis B Vaccine, Streptokinase, Human Insulin, G-CSF, Erythropoietin, Human Growth Hormone and Interferon alpha 2b. The companies include Bharat Biotech, Dr. Reddy’s Labs, Panacea Biotec, Shantha Biotechnics, Wockhardt, Biocon and Intas Pharmaceuticals. Bioservices, second largest pie of Indian biotech sector, has acquired reputation of leading destination for conducting clinical trials, contract research and contract manufacturing.8



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