Updated on 21 June 2013
Moreover, the Indian government has set up a $2.2 billion venture fund for supporting drug discovery and research infrastructure development projects. This is a crucial step as it increases the funding required for innovative work by the Indian biotech sector. The Indian government passed the Clinical Establishments Bill in the year 2010. This move is aimed at standardizing procedures for various clinical trial-related tasks. The bill aims to make registration of clinical trials, as well as clinical research organisations, mandatory throughout India. The Government of India has undertaken food security plan for sustainable crop production research for international development initiative with the specific aim of increasing global partnerships between India and the UK in the field of biological and biotechnological research.
What is the number of MNCs and domestic companies in the industry? How many new domestic companies have been formed in the last two years?
Dr Murali: According to the latest surveys in 2011-12.Today, there are around 380 domestic small, medium and large biotechnology or life sciences companies. Foreign players are also establishing their presence in the Indian biotech space and they are close to 20 companies. For instance NovoNordisk, Eli Lily, GSK, Sanofi Pasteur India Monsanto, Syngenta Sanofi India (Aventis), Pfizer, Novartis and Astra Zeneca are examples of major established MNC players. Denmark-based global biotech company Novozymes has partnered with Bangalore-based biotech company Sea6 Energy in January 2012 for exploratory research and to jointly develop a process for the production of biofuels from seaweed. Lonza is planning to set up a manufacturing base in India at an investment of $150 million at Hyderabad. India-based Clinigene International and Seattle based Pacific Biomarkers announced a collaborative agreement in January 2012 to address the specialty biomarker and high-end clinical trial laboratory needs.
What is the plan of action of the association for the next two years?
Dr Murali: ABLE considers biotechnology as the "technology of hope" for its promising of food, health and environmental sustainability. It is imperative that India leverages resources through partnership and build regional innovation systems. ABLE's strategy will help develop local talent for a globally competitive workforce. While we recognize private sector as a crucial player, the strategy also visualizes government to play a major catalyzing role in promoting biotechnology. The development strategy is based on a strong innovation promotion framework in which industry, academia, organizations and regulatory authorities will communicate in a seamless continuum.
ABLE has formulated strategic plan to address following issues in very structures way in support with our various focus committees. Some of the key policy recommendations and interventions by ABLE include, human resource development in academia and industry, national task force on education & training, strengthening of teaching and R&D in life sciences and biotechnology in the university system, attracting talent to life science and biotechnology, creating science & technology leaders for the industry (Entrepreneurship Developments), advocacy in infrastructure and manufacturing developments, working with state government in building biotechnology parks & incubators to support start-up companies to encourage more and more entrepreneurs to come forward and build bio economy in India, and building regulatory infrastructure.
ABLE has engaged in drafting guidelines and proposals with its various committees so that research and application in biotechnology is guided by a process of decision-making that safeguards both human health and the environment with adherence to the highest ethical standards. ABLE equally focuses and plans to address sectoral road maps for agriculture and food biotechnology, bio resource (marine, microbial, animal and plant), energy and environment, preventive and therapeutic medical biotechnology, regenerative and genomic medicine and diagnostics for emerging diseases. We will also focus on bio-engineering, nano biotechnology, bio-informatics, clinical biotechnology and research services and intellectual property and patent law.
How much revenue have your member companies generated in the past two years? Who have been the top five performing companies in ABLE?
Dr Murali: From the financial data that is available in the public domain, it can be concluded that for the last two years the total revenue of all ABLE firms combines is around Rs 6450.14 crore and Rs 5608.35 crore for financial year 2011-12 and 2010-11 respectively. The top 5 companies across various segments in ABLE (based on revenue as performance parameter) are Serum Institute of India (revenue - Rs 1708 crore), BIOCON (revenue - Rs 1676.4 crore), Panecea Biotech (revenue - Rs 384.22 crore). Bharat Biotech (revenue - Rs 326.2 crore) and Mahyco (revenue - Rs 314.1 crore).