Nagpur-based Ankur Seeds registered a marginal growth of 5 percent in Bt cotton seeds sales for 2007-2008. The company touched a total sales revenue of Rs 75 crore in Bt cotton as against Rs 69.5 crore in 2006-2007.
MG Shembekar, CEO, Ankur Seeds, said, "The financial year ending March 2008 was not very good for the seed industry as the PIL on GM testing in the Supreme Court affected the regulatory process and release of new Bt hybrids. Ankur's sales of Bt cotton were also affected as by the time new potential hybrids were released, the season in the north zone was over and central zone season was halfway." The number of packets of Bt cotton sold was more than 10 lakh plus packets priced at Rs 750 per packet, compared to last fiscal where around 9 lakh packets were sold.
Last year, Ankur introduced high hybrids considering the needs of the farmers of good boll size, plant structure and good fiber characters. Major hybrids given during the year were Ankur 2226 Bt for the north zone and Akka Bt and Jai Bt for the central and south zones. All these hybrids meet the requirements of the current cotton market.
Ankur Seeds will be introducing BG-II hybrids in the coming years. Though the rate of conversion to BG-II hybrids is slow owing to reduction in prices, there will be an increasing trend in the acceptance of BG II technology. The pace of acceptance will be faster in states like Punjab, Gujarat, parts of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. Akka BG-II, a promising cotton hybrid, has been already launched in the central zone and will be getting approval in the south as well. The development of good hybrids is continuous process. Scientists and breeders are working over it and are fully confident of meeting future needs of the farmers. In 2009, Ankur Seeds will be having sizeable number of cotton hybrids in BG I as well as in BG II category that will cater needs of different regions of the country.
In 2007-2008, Advanced Enzymes Technologies Ltd (AETL) clocked a sales of Rs 69.30 crore, registering a marginal growth of 2 percent. Within this, animal health had shown a growth while the company had incurred considerable amount of loss of revenue in its pharmaceutical business due to the ban by the Drug Controller on the use of combination drugs on textiles. Exports for AETL maintained status quo in the fiscal. CL Rathi, managing director, AETL, said, "Our export remained down last year. Before that, for two years we touched around Rs 6-8 crore from exports which was consistent. We had invested around Rs 17 crore in our SEZ factory with the hope of accelerating exports. But the plant started only in March or early April this year. So it was a loss of Rs 2 crore in exports." AETL also faced a crunch in exports due to the appreciation of the dollar with major loses in China. Also AETL could not push much to the US due to the disparity in prices.
The key achievements for AETL in 2007-2008 included expansion of their R&D center. Many initiatives have been taken in the areas of food processing, pharmaceuticals, textiles labs for brewing and distilling. In 2007, AETL had spent around Rs 5.71 lakh for this set up and the investment in this facility is an ongoing process. "This year we intend to spend around Rs 8-9 crore more for our R&D," adds Rathi.
Apart from R&D, AETL's core business includes marketing and manufacturing of enzymes and probiotics to different industries in India. This includes leather processing, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, animal healthcare and nutrition, textiles and tea processing.
AETL recently set up a marketing office at Dacca in Bangladesh and China. The company has also identified areas in Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Ocimum Biosolutions is an integrated life-sciences R&D enabling company providing focused solutions for different steps of the genomics process chain. After joining hands with Gene Logic, the company offers a strong bioresearch portfolio including knowledge bases in genomics and solutions in toxicogenomics, pharmacogenomics and clinical genomics. Through the BioIT division, it provides expertly trained lab information management solutions for life sciences, niche bioinformatics services and products for genomic research such as gene expression analysis, advanced statistical analysis, gene function analysis, genome annotation, sequence comparison and EST analysis. The BioMolecules division produces microarrays and oligonucleotides. The microarray Division has been acquired from MWG Biotech (Germany) and produces catalog OciChip arrays, custom OciChip arrays and offers microarray hybridization services. The oligonucleotides division, which has been acquired by Isogen Lifescience (The Netherlands), makes standard and modified DNA, RNA oligonucleotides.
Ocimum delivers end to end genomic products and services out of three strategic locations worldwide, Gaithersburg MD, Indianapolis IN (United States), IJsselstien (The Netherlands) and Hyderabad (India).
Ocimum, has recently launched the Genowiz 4.0, a comprehensive solution for gene expression analysis. The latest version makes the process of microarray data analysis simpler with a host of features such as AutoGuide to execute automated work flows for analyzing data, addition of organisms/genomes, automatic update of annotations, PLIER algorithm, data export in different formats, box plots and enhanced scatter plots. Ocimum aims to be the number one genomics outsourcing partner in the world.
Nath Biogene undertakes seed production in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. The company has elaborate seed processing facilities at Aurangabad, Coimbatore, Medchel (AP) and Munipally (AP) for ginning, delinting, processing, treating, packing and storage of seeds. The company also has processing arrangements in Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan on custom basis.
It also licenses its technology to eight companies in India. In the previous fiscal (2007-08), Nath's Bt cotton seeds under the brand name of Fusion covered around 8,00,000 acres of land (which amounts to 8,00,000 packets of Bt cotton seeds).
In the previous fiscal (2007-08), its Bt cotton seeds under the brand name of Fusion covered around 8,00,000 acres of land (which amounts to 8,00,000 packets of Bt cotton seeds). It already has released four new hybrid seeds for Bt cotton -- one for the north zone, two for central zone and one for the southern zone. Nath biogene is presently working on stacked genes. It is also working on drought resistant seeds and herbicide resistant seeds. The company allots 10 percent of their revenue in R&D. For R&D, it is associated with companies in Israel and the US and four institutions in China like the Institute of Chinese of Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
With an employee force of 350 personnel, Nath Biogene is presently working on stacked genes which is the incorporation of additional genes into Bt cotton. This will fight against multiple pests. It is also working on drought resistant seeds and herbicide resistant seeds. The company is also working on rice and brinjal which will cause the next gene revolution in India. For this it has tie-ups with Chinese companies This year, Nath Biogene along with its licensees and technology partners is looking at covering 2 million acres of land. For marketing, Nath is also looking at neighboring countries. The company is looking at a growth figure of 40 percent for the current fiscal.
Concord Biotech is an R&D based biotechnology company having state-of-the-art fermentation facility. Acquired from DSM, a Dutch MNC, it started operations in the year 2000 with the manufacturing of Penicillin-G Amidase immobilized enzyme using its own polymer matrix. Using its expertise in the field of biotechnology and chemistry, the company is concentrating on the fermentation-based products. Concord has diversified in the field of active pharmaceutical ingredients namely Lovastatin, Pravastatin, Simvastatin and Tacrolimus. In 2005, Matrix Laboratories announced that it had acquired a controlling stake in Concord Biotech. As per the term sheet executed, Matrix would acquire 55 percent stake in Concord Biotech through a combination of purchasing of existing equity shares from the promoters and other shareholders of the company and subscribing to the new equity shares to be issued by Concord Biotech on preferential basis.
Concord has provided number of technologies on biotech products to many companies in Europe and India. It has received USFDA approval for its Lovastafin facilities and striving to go for EDMF shortly. Concord is equipped with state-of-the-art facility not only for the fermentation but also for the recovery and the powder processing areas. It has the largest shake flask capacity in India, where the wild strains can be manipulated by conventional mutation programs by a team of trained scientists.
Intas Biopharmaceuticals Ltd clocked total sales revenue of Rs 50 crore with a profit of about Rs 8-10 crore for fiscal 2007–2008 as compared to Rs 24 crore in 2006–2007. Their target growth for 2008–09 is Rs 100 crore with profit of Rs 20 crore. Intas Biopharmaceuticals was set up in year 2000, as an independent biotechnology division of Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd. The biotechnology division was demerged as an independent company, Intas Biopharmaceuticals Ltd, in September 2006.
One of the key achievements in 2007 was the initiation of clinical trials for Neukine. The GCSF/Filgrastim trials were initiated by Intas Biopharmaceuticals in Europe last year. The manufacturing facility, based at Moraiya, near Ahmedabad, was also audited and approved by European Medicines Agency (EMEA). The company launched its product Neupeg, PEG-GCSF. The company commenced its cloning lab, which was operational in November 2007, and has already churned out two cloning molecules. There was a drastic increase in its scientific pool which is more than 100 now. Again, as far as the total employee strength is concerned, Intas Biopharmaceuticals has total employee strength of around 400.
The company has acquired US-based biotechnology corporation, Biologics Process Development Incorporated (BPD Inc.), based in Poway, California, recently. Both companies are actively pursuing plans to work closely towards fulfilment of common business objectives in the area of Contract Research and Manufacturing Services (CRAMS). Intas Biopharmaceuticals has also signed a supply and distribution agreement with a Canada–based company which will market its G-CSF product (Neukine) in North America and Europe. It is a $30 million contract with a time frame of 3-4 years. For the next three years, Intas has plans to invest another Rs 300 crore, out of which Rs 200 crore would mainly be to double its manufacturing and R&D facility.
JK Agri Genetics Ltd (JKAL), an erstwhile division of JK Tyre & Industries Ltd, was established in 1989 with its headquarters at Hyderabad. The division is concentrating on research and development, production, processing and marketing of hybrid seeds of sorghum, pearl millet, maize, cotton, rice, sunflower, tomato, okra and hot pepper.
The company has been driven by continuous innovation in its field of activity like management, research, production, processing, quality and marketing. This has resulted in the establishment of a strong trust and brand equity of JK seeds amongst the consumers, channel members, suppliers, government officials and others. JKAL has invested extensively in biotechnology programs. It has collaborations with several national and international research institutions and agricultutal universities to harness biotechnology for crop improvement.
There are many hybrids marketed by the company. But fast moving hybrids are JK 99, JK DURGA, JK 666, JK INDRA, JK Varun (555), JK Chamundi. Also in H x B we have Chamundi / JKCHB 34 / JKCHB 229. The company has developed a range of superior hybrids with Bt gene and other novel genes that will fulfil farmer's aspirations. A team of 15 committed scientists are currently working on the application of DNA markers such as RFLP, AFLP, SSR and ISSR, agrobacterium and biolistic mediated transformation technology in various crops using novel genes and application of in vitro culture of regeneration of transformed plants.
JKAL has a 'participatory plant breeding process' in which the customers and channel members interact with breeders and help in the setting up the breeding objectives and also select the hybrids best suited to their environs on parameters like performance, quality of produce, pest tolerance and end uses. Some of its hybrids of grain sorghum, pearl millet and maize have been recommended for release by national apex agricultural research body - ICAR and further notified by Government of India for cultivation in India in different agro-climatic zones.
JKAL is planning to diversify into research on medicinal and aromatic plants with core activities including cultivation, contract farming, varietal development, quality extract production and chemical and DNA fingerprinting.
Krishidhan Seeds Ltd (KSL) clocked a total turnover of Rs 185 crore registering a 50 percent growth in revenue compared to 2006-2007, out of which the biotech revenues were close to Rs 40 crore. The year saw an investment of Rs 5 crore in the company's R&D department. The development strengthened with an additional building for biotechnology and recruitment of 44 eminent scientists/breeders from public and private sectors. The year also saw tie-ups and collaborations with more than a dozen national and international institutions for biotech research and product development in major field and vegetable crops with 6 crop specific farms developed with modern facility. A sum of Rs 2.5 crore was invested on processing seed packaging through fully automated plants for cotton and vegetable seeds. Several products were introduced in different zones as well as listed in regulatory trial which got permission for commercialization in 2008. The north zone saw the approval of 9810 (BGI) and 441 (BGII). The central zone saw 9810, 9821, 786 (BGI) and 621 (BGII), 9632 (BGII) and lastly the southern zone saw 9810, 407 BGI) and 621 (BGII) getting approved. Having a workforce of 900 people, KSL also entered into tie-ups and partnerships with Gujarat State Seeds Company Ltd (GSSCL), which has been given exclusive rights to market company's Bt cotton in Gujarat.
Indovax is engaged in the production of quality poultry biologicals since 1991. The company's turnover in the year 2007-08 was just over Rs 35 crore as compared to Rs 30 crore in 2006-2007. Its product portfolio consists of viral vaccines, inactivated vaccines and bacterins. Some of them are Newcastle vaccine (Ranikhet vaccine), Gumboro vaccine (IBD), Marek's vccine, infectious bronchitis vaccine, fowl pox vaccine, fowl cholera vaccine and infectious coryza vaccine. It has a modern state-of-the-art facility spread over 14 acres in a completely poultry-free zone. According to Deepak Kapur, "The year 2008-09 will start to see new products from Indovax. Our R&D pipeline is now filling up and the industry will benefit with the release of these innovative. Our objective is to introduce a new product every six months."
The total revenue of Dr Reddy's Laboratories has grown to Rs 50 billion ($1,250 million) in FY08 as against Rs 65 billion ($1,627 million) in FY07. The revenues in India for finished dosage have crossed $200 million in FY08. Revenues in India increased by 16 percent to Rs 8.1 billion in FY08 from Rs 7 billion in FY07. Growth was primarily driven by key brands of Omez, Razo, Stamlo Beta and Reditux. Revenues from Reditux launched in April 2007 fetched in Rs 154 million in FY08. Twenty new products were launched during the year, contributing Rs 309 million in revenues.
Dr Reddy's is currently dedicated to the development of biosimilars, while its long term vision is to also develop New Biological Entities (NBEs) in niche therapeutic areas
Hester Biosciences (formerly Hester Pharmaceuticals) is a GMP and ISO 9001:2000 certified company, manufacturing poultry vaccines. Located near Ahmedabad in Gujarat, Hester has a state-of-the-art facility to produce live and killed (inactivated) veterinary vaccines.
Through its seromonitoring services, Hester helps producers evaluate the immune response to administered vaccines and/or to obtain evidence of flock exposure to field strains. The turnover of Hester Biosciences is Rs 32.24 crore for 2007-2008 as compared to Rs 21.83 crore in 2006-2007. The company registered a growth of 37 percent in net profit and 92 percent in cash profit on a 50 percent growth in sales over last year. The company has recommended a 25 percent dividend for the year 2007-2008.
Nicholas Piramal India Ltd (NPIL), which was ranked fourth by ORG IMS(2007) is now looking at making its presence felt in the biotech space. It generated sales of Rs 22.42 crore from marketing of biotech products in therapeutic segment in 2007-2008. In 2008 it was announced that subject to shareholders' and Central government's approval, NPIL will be known as Piramal Healthcare Ltd, while the group companies NPIL Laboratories and Diagnostics will be known as Piramal Diagnostic Services. NPIL Research & Development was recently renamed Piramal Life Sciences Ltd (PLSL). PLSL has a number of molecules in its research pipeline. It also has a comprehensive library of plant extracts and microbial strains. NPIL signed a second drug development agreement with Eli Lilly whereby both parties will carry out independent clinical trials on a certain candidate.
ABL Biotechnologies Ltd (ABL), based in Chennai is a pioneer in harnessing the biodiversity of the Indian marine environment. The company generated sales of Rs 20.03 crore in 2007-08. ABL has been working on identification and commercial extraction of biochemicals, predominantly from microbes, that have far reaching applications as nutritional, cosmetic, pharmaceutical and industrial intermediates. ABL has been conducting research on polysaccharides, essential fatty acids, natural pigments, tracers and tags with considerable success. Its present focus includes work on pharmaceuticals like anti-bacterials and anti-virals, enzymes, bio-molecular materials, bio-monitors and diagnostics, bio-pesticides, bioremediation and aquaculture. The company has recently received two of its projects supported under the SBIRI scheme.
Zytex (India), engaged in marketing of a broad range of biotechnological products, has increased its sales turnover to Rs 20 crore in 2007-08 from previous year's sales of Rs 15 crore. Zytex offers products such as probiotics, enzymes for baking, food, animal feed, nutraceuticals, fructo-oligo saccharideand textile garments processing chemicals. Zytex has a world-class R&D research lab and application support lab, which is approved by the Department of Science and Industrial Research (DSIR). In 2007, the company made a strategic technical collaboration with Giovanni Bozzetto, Italy, the leading European textile auxiliaries' manufacturer since 1919. Zytex research is based on fermentation technology and with prime focus on nutraceuticals and cosmoceuticals. The company has also established a new manufacturing facility at Savli Biotech Park, Baroda.
Strand Life Sciences is a premier in silico technologies innovation company focused on developing technologies for drug discovery and development. Strand leverages its core strengths in data mining, predictive modeling, computational chemistry, software engineering and research biology to develop technologies and offer various products for research biology, chemistry and drug discovery. Strand also offers custom solutions based on its technologies. Strand has three streams of business spanning early target discovery through pre-clinical development. Strand's software products are built on the award winning avadis platform technology. Over 500 users worldwide use these products and several significant publications reference the avadisTM-based products.
Note: Zytex and Strand Life Sciences share the 35th Rank.
Hyderabad-based Celestial Labs has been providing customized IT solutions for pharma, biopharma, biotech and manufacturing and sale of biological products like enzymes, nutraceuticals. The company's revenue from its products and services for the year 2007-08 stood at Rs 19.91. Celestial labs have been offering a comprehensive range of products and services on a long-term basis, across the world. Celestial Labs is setting up a biotechnology facility in Genome Valley at Hyderabad to manufacture its own drug molecules, industrial enzymes and to contract research activities. The business plan of Celestial Labs is essentially based on the production and supply of the biotechnological products which have very significant industrial implications, especially in both pharma and biopharmaceutical sectors.
Varda Biotech offers integrated services in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. It has introduced educational biotechnology kits for schools, colleges, universities and educational institutes, under the brand name Bio-knowledge Kit, which help perform basic techniques in molecular biology and immunology with minimum available equipments, even in a remote facility. It also offers a list of enzymes such as an ultra pure and highly thermostable recombinant Taq DNa polymerase, Hotstrat Taq and Klintaq. The list of industrial enzymes includes cellulase, xylanese, serratiopeptidase, co-enzyme Q-10 and poultry enzymes such as phytase. The company also has strategic alliances for product association and representations, in various parts of the world like the US, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and Asia.
In 2007-2008, Bangalore-based Multiplex Biotech clocked revenues of Rs 15 crore through sales from its biotech products, registering 61 percent growth in its biotech revenues compared to that in 2006-07. Multiplex Group was established in 1974 by Dr GP Shetty, an eminent plant physiologist with years of experience. Multiplex Group is focused on research and development of bioagri products that help the farmers to increase their crop productivity by harnessing the fertility of the soil.
Multiplex has state of the art R&D facility and a team, comprising of several scientists, that is continuously striving towards improvising and innovating newer products. The company offers all types of micronutrient products, seeds, bio activators, bio pesticides, formulation of pesticides to name a few.
Zenotech increased its biotechnology turnover to Rs 10.41 crore in 2007-08. The company develops new biological entities in the areas of cancer and neurology. The company has initiated target identification and validation programs using gene and protein based technologies. Zenotech utilizes validated targets for generating new therapeutic entites. The company plans to adopt a comprehensive approach to therapeutic monoclonal antibody generation by bringing together skills in the areas of recombinant DNA technology, protein purification and characterization in the development of new antigen and antibody-based therapeutics for clinical studies. Zenotech also develops and manufactures generic biopharmaceuticals and markets them to people with unmet medical needs around the world.
Excel Industries manufactures quality chemicals relevant to the needs of industry and agriculture. It has three business divisions–agri, chemical and environment and biotech. The environment and biotech division has developed biodynamic products and processes to manage municipal solid waste, putrescible wastes from the agriculture, horticulture and aquaculture industries, sewage sludges, industrial waste streams and contamination of soils and waters by hydrocarbons and other organic compounds. This division has two product categories - agricultural biotech products and environment biotech products. The agricultural biotech products make extensive use of naturally occurring microbes such as bacteria and fungi. The products are classified under the categories of soil enrichers and biopesticides.