Presenting India as a 'Bio-manufacturing Hub': Are we ready?

With union government’s focus on ‘Make in India’ as a mantra to drive growth, the biotechnology industry cannot afford to remain aloof from being a part of this countrywide thrust on manufacturing

make-in-india-biomanufacturing

Make in India: With several biologics off the rack of patent shelves in the next five years, the combined sales potential of more than US$ 60 billion represents a massive opportunity for India to contribute through vaccines and biosimilars.

Industry leaders believe that the negativity created by prevailing regulatory environment and unending controversies, have led to under performance of the biotech sector. However the renewed focus on producing quality Indian products has brought to fore a hidden opportunity to show its importance in the new context.

To begin with, it is the time multinational companies working in India should stop maligning image of the country, mentioned Dr Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, chairman and managing director, Biocon during her talk at the BIRAC's Foundation day at Delhi. "They should stop India bashing as it won't help in any way" she said. Dr Shaw requested the prime minister's office to have more thrust on science and technology. She added further, "Manufacturing requires public private partnership to develop highest quality product at low cost. That can't be done unless there are interventions at highest level."

Knocking opportunities: Do we fit into competitive space?

With several biologics off the rack of patent shelves in the next five years, the combined sales potential of more than US$ 60 billion represents a massive opportunity for India to contribute through vaccines and biosimilars.

To lap this up, there is a need to build a strong image globally, believes Prof Anurag S Rathore, Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi. "One or two incidents on quality are repeated globally, leading to negative perceptions," he says, "Need to do more to change this as a country. Action should be taken against the bad products. There are three aspects: technical, policy and brand management that require attention."

Talking in particular about vaccine industry's role, Dr Suresh Jadhav, executive director, Serum Institute of India, drew a comparative scenario between developed countries and India. "Two third children across world getting Indian manufactured vaccines. While in US, there are Pfizer and Merck, the Europe has few manufacturers that include GSK and Bethovan are few others. Therefore, the role of 52 Indian vaccines manufacturers whose 23 products have been so far certified by WHO, obviously becomes stronger. Also, at times, GAVI used to procure pentavalent vaccine at $4 but now with manufacturers from developing countries in picture, the prices have come down to $1.5." Dr Jadhav wants the government to understand the issues not just politically but financially as well. He adds,

 

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geetaa singh 16 June 2015 at 10:43 AM

India can truly be made a Bio-manufacturing HUB. We are blessed with natural resources and huge manpower next to China. Our knowledge bank and scientific force towards every other bio based industry is so enormous, that it not difficult at all. What is required is governmental support in terms of favorable policies and clearances to achieve the commercialization goals. With the mantra of MAKE IN INDIA, why is Government thinking of importing Ethanol? If a country like Brazil can make it, why India is planning to import ethanol? I will be heavy heartedly anticipating when India will say we will import biodiesel from China. As Dr. Shaw has rightly pointed out "Manufacturing requires public private partnership to develop highest quality product at low cost. That can't be done unless there are interventions at highest level." For realizing the biodiesel blends as per the Biofuel policy, what is required is PPP which will not only help make in India, but creates innumerable job opportunities for qualified, semi-skilled and rural mass besides protection of environment. We, as a Jatropha-based biodiesel plant science Company appeal to the PM to hear our voice and support us PPP.

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