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India on way to becoming biotech studies hub

 India is rapidly moving from being a label extension support centre to being included in global pivotal studies and the growing generics industry is boosting the flow of pharmacokinetic studies to the country.

In this scenario, Indian companies are busy identifying areas of comparative advantage and leveraging them to compete globally, states “The Global Biotechnology Report 2006” brought out by Ernst & Young.

The next big step for India will be in products, as most current research programmes will bear fruit by the end of the decade. The range could be impressive, including biogenerics, novel therapeutics, vaccines, biochemicals, nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals.

This will enable Indian biotech to expand globally, said Utkarsh Palnitkar, head of health sciences at Ernst & Young, India. This global expansion would be driven by domestic innovation, competitive costs, availability of valid data, and viable business models that have already been tested in India, he added.

However, efforts to expand India’s highly skilled labour pool will be critical to the industry’s growth. A comprehensive strategy is needed for giving an impetus to education in all aspects of biotech to provide a clear mapping of educational and industrial opportunities.

The “Global Technology Report” adds while stem-cell research has raised some debate in the West, huge investments have been flowing to India in this field.

Similarly, the strategic emphasis in India has now shifted to developing new vaccine delivery systems instead of just manufacturing vaccines in bulk to maintain cost competitiveness.

Changes are also occurring upstream through enhanced capabilities in conducting research on discoveries, and downstream, primarily in the capacity to manufacture biopharmaceuticals.



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