While India has been practicing conventional biotechnology for decades, modern biotechnology did not really take off in India till the last decade. However, this process is now accelerating and India will soon be a leader in many forms of biotechnology. Currently, there exist 800 companies, operating in all sectors of biotechnology, but there are only 25 companies that have gained size and are working in the modern biotech sectors. Leading companies are Reddy Labratories, Wockhardt, Biocon, Panacea Biotech, Biocon, Nicholas-Piramal India, Reliance and Ranbaxy.
Today, India holds a small share of the global biotech market, but has all the capabilities to become a dominant player. Biotech in India has three dominant clusters - Bangalore, Mumbai/Pune and to a lesser extent New Delhi.
In 1997, the total biotech market in India was valued at $ 500 million. This grew to 1 billion in 1999. It further grew to 2 billion in 2001 and is expected to grow to $ 4.5 billion by 2010. Some expect that India will have 8 percent of the world's biotech companies by 2010.
India is a hub for vaccine production. In 2003/2004, this market grew at 18.64% and accounted for 47% of the total biopharma segment with sales of US$253 million. GlaxoSmithkline, Wyeth, and Aventis are major multinational players in the Indian vaccine market.
Several domestic players are competing in this market such as Serum Institute of India (Pune), Biocon, Panacea Biotec, etc. . Major vaccines produced include DPT, DT, BCG, Tetanus toxoid, oral polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, rabies (tissue culture-based), and an injectible typhoid vaccine.
The human and animal segment of the industry alone is growing by at least 20%. Human health biotech accounts for 60% of the total sales, while agro biotech and veterinary-biotech together account for 15% of the total revenue and medical devices, contract R&D and reagents and supplies constitute the remainder.
The biotech sector in India is still mainly a mix of small and medium-sized companies. Major hurdles for Indian biotech start-ups are finding seed capital, lack of R&D focus, intellectual property rights, regulatory reforms and difficulty in competing with large companies in terms of salaries and benefits for key employees.
Areas of Focus:
- Bio-generic pharmaceuticals. The reason for this is India's long presence in the generic drugs market which is now leading the Indian companies to enter the Bio-generic pharmaceutical global market. The biopharmaceutical segment contributed about 76% of the Indian Biotech market in 2003-2004.
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- Agribiotechnology. Agriculture occupies the prime position in the economy contributing 24.1% to the GDP and agricluture and allied activities employ about 60% of the work force. Hence a lot is expected of agribiotechnology. New products in agribiotechnology sector would be increasing in the coming...