• 12 April 2011
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India biotech goes global

A decade-old $3 billion Indian biotech industry, supplying over 50 percent of global vaccine requirement has been making its presence felt in the global biotech market through acquisitions and by establishing direct presence in other markets. The trend has picked up in the last five years mainly in the areas of clinical development services, bioinformatics space, drug discovery and market accessibility.

Capabilities and market access are the key drivers for overseas investments of Indian biotech  companies. Says Mr Ajit Mahadevan, Partner, Ernst & Young, “The companies are acquiring firms and assets in the Western markets to get an access to the markets globally. The services industry is acquiring companies globally to acquire capabilities in drug discovery and clinical development services.

India is still developing capabilities in early stage discovery and biologics. Moreover, a lot of the animal studies (large animal) are done outside India. This has led companies to look westward to acquire such capabilities and technology as they move up in the value chain. In addition, in the outsourcing business, proximity to the customer is the other key factor and has driven the acquisitions of the Indian companies.

Since 2004, companies such as Biocon, Ocimum Biosolutions, Strand Life Sciences, Veeda Clinical Research, Synchron, Reliance Life Sciences, SIRO Clinpharm, Stempeutics, Hester Biosciences, Venkateshwara Hatcheries, Jubilant have announced global deals or have set up direct operations mainly in regions like Europe, the US, Middle East, and South-East Asia.

Jubilant Life Sciences has picked up many companies in the US and Europe. Bharat Biotech has manufacturing facilities in Malaysia and markets its products in South  Kora. Shantha Biotech has got marketing approvals in Vietnam. On the business model adopted by the Indian biotech companies to be a success in overseas markets, Mr Ajit Mahadevan says, “The Indian companies are learning to integrate the acquisitions into their existing businesses.  They have increasingly begun to take a more involved and integrated approach as against the hands-off approach being followed earlier.”

The opportunity, market accessibility, proximity to customers are providing ample space for the Indian biotech companies to go global with key interests in the US, Europe and South-East Asia. In the following pages BioSpectrum features some of the prominent companies that are riding the global wave.

Veeda Clinical Research: The specialized Global CRO
Mr Apurva Shah, Group MD, Veeda Clinical Research
Stempeutics: Gets bionexus status in Malaysia
Mr B N Manohar, CEO, Stempeutics
SIRO Clinpharm: Bullish on Asia-Pacific
Dr Chetan Tamhankar, CEO, SIRO Clinpharm
Hester Biosciences: Betting Big on Animal Biologicals 
Rajiv Gandhi, CEO & MD, Hester Biosciences
Reliance Life Sciences: Cashing on Biosimilars
Mr KV Subramaniam, President, Reliance Life Sciences
Strand Life Sciences: Taking Indian bioIT to US
Dr Vijay Chandru, Chairman & CEO, Strand Life Sciences
Ocimum Biosolutions: On an acquisition spree
Ms Anuradha Acharya, CEO, Ocimum BioSolutions
Biocon: Spreads wings globally
Dr Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairman & MD, Biocon

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