• 13 June 2005
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Forward March

System Biology Platforms and Partnering will become BIG, and there is a need for better all round appreciation of the emerging global patterns in R&D

One of the key features influencing the use of new technologies is the changing character of research and development (R&D) and the associated process of globalization. Technologies and policies that have been pursued by developing countries and promoted by international organizations and companies are based on outdated assumptions about global patterns of R&D. A better understanding of the emerging R&D patterns arising from the impact of globalization for India and China had to evolve.

The last five years have witnessed the growth of converging cutting-edge technology platforms driven by a knowledge economy built assiduously over the last 50 years leading towards a harmonized entry of the developing world into the exciting global markets.

The converging of technologies is leading to the creation of new drugs ad new foods all driven in the future by diagnostics, in other words, to prevention and predictability. For diagnostic-led preventive food and diagnostic-led pharmaceuticals sector, 2004 has been a turning point. The need for food and drug safety has never been more important. Approvals for novel food and pharmaceuticals will rely more and more on Biomarkers, Pharmacogenomics and Imaging. Therefore the Forward March of a comprehensive system biology platform that will need to partner in networks to create a sustainable model for innovation. India and China will play a significant role in early discovery and manufacturing.

Although still very much a hotly debated item, Agbiotech is slated to improve with commercial acreage in GM crops increasing rapidly worldwide. Agbiotech's role in white, red and green biology will accelerate but will be led by large agricultural biotech companies who will either buy the small companies or do a Build, Operate Transfer in India and China thus cutting the cost of development and field trials.

Therefore these are exciting times for the biotech industry, good technology, exciting global partnering, platforms back in operation, biogenerics and also new foods and drugs. The preventive personalized model will be the trend in 2005. The rise of the Nutraceutical sector will demonstrate growth because of people looking at the natural alternative route. Merger and acquisition activity will be seen and India and China will rise to the occasion and start to play at the global level. There will be more private equity placements than venture capital activity. The Indian IPO window will be open for the next two to three years for biotech. The future is bright.

Villoo Morawala-Patell
Member, ABLE, Founder and CEO, Avesthagen, Bangalore


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