Bangalore: The biotechnology industry has touched $2-billion mark in revenue for 2006-07 from the $1 billion in 2004-05.
The industry was on the right track to meet its target of $5 billion by 2010, Biocon India CMD Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said in her introductory remarks at the inaugural function of Bio 2007, a biotech event.
The biopharma sector touched $1.4-billion mark while the bio-services sector reached $250 million. The bio-agri sector crossed the $250-million mark, she said quoting the ABLE-Biospectrum survey.
The industry grew by 30%, with bio-agri scoring the highest growth rate at 50% and largest acreage of nine million.
Investments in the Indian biotechnology sector crossed $580 million in 2006-2007 with Bangalore alone witnessing more than Rs1,000 crore outlay from companies like Jubilant, AstraZeneca, GE Healthcare and Biocon.
The biotechnology companies R&D spend was on an average 3% of sales, she said.
The scenario in India was changing rapidly with improving regulatory infrastructure, improving standards of bio-manufacturing, increasing capabilities in clinical development, increasing R&D collaborations with US and European companies and increasing acceptance of Indian clinical data by international bodies like USFDA/EMEA.
India was ranked number three (following Japan and Korea)in the Asia Pacific region in Biotechnology by E&Y.
The country was also rapidly climbing up the drug development path, she said.
”The biotechnology industry is gaining critical mass,” Mazumdar-Shaw said, adding that transnational partnership models with Indian companies was on the rise. India’s cost and skill base was supporting affordable drug development.
India is gaining global leadership in Bt cotton. “From net importers of cotton, we have changed to net exporters of cotton largely due to the contribution of Bt cotton.”
Outlining the challenges before the sector, she said there was need for a “transition from generics to new molecules” and setting up of large animal house facilities to facilitate high-end research in pre-clinical development.
She said there was also a need for venture capital to back innovation. Right now venture capital appeared averse to risk and this mindset has to change.
The current challenge also lay in focusing on “innovation to replace the generics and service mindset.”
Listing the milestones achieved by the Karnataka Biotechnology sector, she said the state biotech companies touched the Rs2,000 crore turnover while exports crossed Rs1,000-crore mark. The state accounted for 55% of Indian biotechnology.
Karnataka boasted of 183 out of the 340 companies in the country with nine established in 2006-07, out of the 12 new companies in India.
The industry scientific headcount doubled to 16,000. The state government had tied up with Australia’s Deakin University to start post graduate and Phd programmes to build high skills for the sector. She also called for setting up specialised institutions on the lines of IIT for the sector.