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NEW DELHI : As new Indian and global pharmaceutical companies include vaccines as a key part of their portfolios, India’s vaccines industry can grow from $2 billion to $4 billion or even $5 billion, said a report released by global consulting firm Kearney, in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Monday.

The report titled “Taking India’s life science to the global stage: Make in India to fuel 4x growth in biosimilars and vaccines by 2026", said that vaccines have become the top-most item on the agenda for governments and investors because of the pandemic. “The industry will have many new opportunities arising from the disruptions caused by the pandemic, growing from a $40 billion industry to more than $75 billion by 2025 thanks to increased advocacy, greater acceptability of advanced platforms such as mRNA, and a larger market amid covid-19 booster doses," the report said.

Given India’s expertise, infrastructure, and investments, this report details the strategic calls needed for the country to capture a larger share in two major areas (vaccines and biosimilars) in the biopharmaceuticals market, which combined can offer a $10 billion opportunity.

The report said that biosimilars are expected to be a $36 billion global opportunity by 2025, growing rapidly at a CAGR of 24%. Currently, India manufacturers contribute $500 million to $600 million in the $12 billion market. These therapeutic drugs can be the next frontier for Indian life sciences after generics, with India holding a potential share of 15 to 20% in the global pie. India’s industry has already developed the basic set of capabilities by upgrading technology, forging global alliances, launching numerous products domestically, and getting a few approvals in the regulated markets.

The report highlighted that India is home to only 8% of the world’s biopharmaceutical market. Most of this share by volume is derived from vaccines—a category where India holds more than 40% of the market share, according to World Health Organization (WHO).

“India needs to build on the momentum by putting in place a sound biotech strategy encompassing investments, R&D, exports, and a strong startup culture—an effort that will require involvement from the government, academia and the private sector. From its current share of only 8% in the overall biopharma manufacturing space, India can replicate its generics dominant position in this segment as well, commanding a share of 20 to 30% within the next decade if decisive actions are taken," said Saumya Krishna Partner, Kearney.

“India pharma has continued to lag in driving cutting-edge innovation, ranking 14th by value despite being the world’s third-largest volume producer. The covid-19 pandemic offers the potential of being the next step-change moment for the global pharmaceutical industry that can help India jump to the top," she said.

India’s pharmaceutical ecosystem has recognized the potential of this market and taken steps toward capturing this exploding market. Two Indian companies have gotten approvals for biosimilars in the US and European markets.

“India’s life science industry has been one of the fundamental drivers in achieving better health outcomes, domestically and globally. Despite India’s rising position in the global life sciences industry, there are several segments where the country can further improve. A cohesive environment with the implementation of new policies will help in establishing self-sufficiency and usher a new era for growth in the industry," said Chandrajit Banerjee, director general, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). India caters to only about 1.5% of the global demand for biosimilars by export value but has the potential to supply more than 10%.

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