• 6 January 2006
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Forward March

Forward March

Forward March

It is the season of hope. Every one looks forward to a great year ahead, while reflecting on the year that has just gone by. Overall the business confidence is high, and the economy is growing at a fast clip and the all round progress should help the biotech industry too.

The BioSpectrum Awards Nite on December 19 was also an occasion to collectively reflect on the industry's status. It was also used as an occasion to aggregate the demands of different segments of the industry which could be presented to the nation's policy makers. These suggestions from the industry have been presented crisply in this issue. Hopefully, various wings of the government will act on these suggestions, just as they have done in the previous year and clear some more hurdles in the path of the biotech industry.

This issue also carries a set of demands to the Finance Minister P Chidambaram from the leading industry associations like ABLE and AIBA. Let us hope that the finance minister presents yet another biotech-friendly Union Budget on February 28.

In the past year, the BioSpectrum team has interacted with a large number of industry leaders on various occasions. And learnt from them their major growth plans. Based on these interactions and information gathered separately too in recent weeks, we have put together a list of companies that may make a big impact in 2006. It is not crystal ball gazing. We have made an attempt to look beyond the immediate and how many of the big plans of these companies will bear fruits in the coming 12 months.

Clearly, this list covers a range of companies, from CROs to bioagri, diagnostics and biopharma institutions. The list has left all the established companies as they are all anyway set to grow with their innovative product lines. We have confined the list to the recent start-ups. Every one of them has the potential to become the Biocons and Serums of tomorrow and we may be hearing more and more about their successful domestic and global accomplishments in the coming years.

This issue also includes the 2nd Top 20 Biotech Schools Survey. There are no big surprises in the ranking except the swapping of places by a few top institutions. By and large, the survey has validated the widely held perceptions about the rankings of top biotech teaching institutions.

As we all rejoice and look forward to a great year ahead, it is also time to spare a thought for Prof. Vijay Chandru, the inspiration behind Strand Life Sciences, as he struggles with the two bullets pumped into him on December 28 by unidentified terrorists. The venerable Indian Institute of Science could hardly be imagined by anyone to be the sight of blood-letting witnessed on that Black Wednesday. And Prof. M C Puri, the eminent mathematician, has become probably the first scientist-victim to global terrorism. The good news is that Chandru is on the recovery path. Collectively, the industry should use this occasion, in whichever possible way, to redouble the efforts to succeed in whatever activity we are. This would send a clear message to the terrorists that India's technology and scientific spirit cannot be undermined by bullets aimed randomly at its practitioners.

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