Hyderabad :Islamabad is wooing Indian pharmaceutical companies with an offer to subsidize up to 50% of the capital investments that they make in Pakistan’s nascent biotechnology industry. Three Indian drug-makers have already announced their plans for the neighbouring country.
The Pakistan government’s ministry of finance has set up a ‘Competitiveness Support Fund’ together with the US Agency for International Development to finance ‘bio-pharmaceutical’ businesses, Anwar Nasim, chairman of the National Biotech Commission of Pakistan, said on the sidelines of a biotechnology event.
Biopharmaceuticals—vaccines, for instance—are drugs derived from living organisms to produce or modify the structure of plants or animals with a medical or diagnostic objective. The fund, with its headquarters in Islamabad, is also eyeing opportunities in cluster development for biopharmaceuticals based on successful models worldwide, Nasim said.
“Biopharma companies in Pakistan are now collaborating with companies across the world, including India. Pakistan-based biopharma companies have tied up in the recent past with companies such as Biocon and Natco Pharma,” Nasim told Mint.
Pakistan-based companies have tied up with Indian counterparts recently. Dabur Pharma is supplying an anti-cancer drug to Atco Laboratories, Biocon has tied up with Ferozsons Labs for an anti-tumour medicine, and Natco Pharma has a tie up with Medipak for supply of cancer drugs.
“Countries such as India, China, Brazil and Cuba are making progress in biotechnology. Pakistan, though slow, is making consistent progress in the biotech space. Pakistan will soon begin in-depth dialogue with Cuban government for co-development, technology transfer and vaccine production,” Dr Nasim added.