• 6 September 2005
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Biotech is the flavor of the century: Dr Joseph Thomas

Biotech is the flavor of the century

Biotech is the flavor of the century: Dr Joseph Thomas

Dr Joseph Thomas, adviser, Biotechnology (BT), IIT Madras, inaugurating the second BioSpectrum Student Lecture Series at IIT Madras. It was sponsored by Sangene Biotech and RK Institute of Management and Computer Science, both based in Bangalore.

The second BioSpectrum Student Lecture Series was organized in Chennai at the prestigious IIT Central Lecture Theatre on August 27, 2005. Over 350 students from various institutions in the state attended the event with full enthusiasm. Inaugurating the event, Dr Joseph Thomas, adviser, Biotechnology (BT), IIT Madras, said, "Biotech will be the flavor of the century and is expected to enhance the quality of life. And biotech, which will have a direct interaction with the human lives would out run the IT industry in future." Over 2,000 students from Chennai will be coming out with a biotechnology degree, he informed.

BioSpectrum Student Lecture Series, is an event where leading personalities from the industry address the biotech students' concerns on careers and opportunities in biotech sector, and was flagged off in July this year in Bangalore. This Series will be held across 10 cities in the country over the next six months.

"Biopharma industry contributes nearly 75 percent to the biotechnology industry and clinical research is expected to become $1 billion industry by 2008 in India," Dr Thomas said and added that India would witness a transformation in the field of research and the Research Process Outsourcing (RPO) is expected to be the next new wave overcoming the present BPO industry.

BioSpectrum editor, N Suresh, giving an overview of the Indian and global biotech industry in India, said, "The present government under the leadership of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh swears by BT." The government initiatives in supporting the development of the industry has been tremendous, by bringing in industry-specific acts. Further, he said that Biotech has seen a good growth within five years and today the Indian biotech sector has crossed the $1 billion mark (Rs 4,745 crore). While 40 percent of the business generated is by companies headquartered in the West, South accounts for 38 percent of the business, and the rest is generated by companies located in the North, he added. The coming up of biotech parks similar to that of IT parks in Bangalore, Chennai, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Kerala, Pune, etc. has become the new trend in the country. Good revenue and profits from the industry and assistance from the government has facilitated in opening these parks, he said.

Speaking on the BioSpectrum role, Suresh said the lecture series was a very good opportunity for the students, who could interact with the best in the field and clarify their queries regarding the industry and their future.

He added that by the end of this year BioSpectrum will launch an Asian edition. This would be the first Indian magazine to be published outside India.

Speaking on the BioPharma opportunities Dr SV Veerramani, CMD, Fourrts (India) Laboratories and vice president, Indian Drug Manufacturers Association, said, "The pharma industry has grown tremendously in the last five years and it is $8 billion business in India. Though it is only 2 percent of the global market and 1 percent of the total global production, there is a good growth for the business due to the unbeatable medical prices and affordable and quality manpower. The biotech industry touched the $1 billion mark in 2004 and will touch $5 billion by 2010. India is also going good on the patent rights with many Indian companies coming up to patent their products." The past was not evolved, the present is maturing and the future is bright for the BioPharma, he surmized. Talking about the career opportunities, he said the opportunities were vast in the manufacture, R&D and clinical segment and the
industry is promising one million jobs by 2010.

Dr GK Suraishkumar, professor and head of biotechnology department, IIT Chennai, elaborated on the opportunities in the biotech research, while Dr Tomal Dattaray, director, Metahelix, Bangalore, elaborated on the trends in BioAgri, KO Isaac, managing director, ABL Biotechnologies, Chennai, addressed on the trends in biomarine industry. The Student Lecture series facilitated an interactive session with the speakers.

The speakers answered the most common question, which was basically about the industry and their future in it.

The event was sponsored by Sangene Biotech and RK Institute of Management and Computer Science, Bangalore.


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