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India’s biotech economy grew 8 times in the last 8 years, expanding further: PM Modi

India’s biotech economy grew 8 times in the last 8 years, expanding further: PM Modi

According to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India’s bio-economy has risen eight times in the last eight years, and demand for biotechnology in the country is increasing.

PM Modi made the statements while speaking at the Department of Biotechnology’s Biotech Startup Expo 2022 in New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), which included 75 successful companies backed by the agency. In addition, he established a Biotech Products e-portal with 750 biotech products.

“We have grown from $10 billion to $80 billion,” the Prime Minister stated of India’s bio-economy. India is on the verge of joining the top ten countries in the global biotech ecosystem.”

“Trust in the talent and ingenuity of our IT experts in the world is at new heights,” PM Modi added, highlighting the importance of the biotech sector’s growth in the country’s development. This similar level of trust and reputation is being seen in India’s biotech sector, and are some of its bio professionals this decade… There are 5 reasons why India is being viewed as a land of opportunity in the field of biotechnology: India’s diverse population and climatic zones, India’s talented human capital pool, increasing efforts to make doing business in India easier, the demand for bio-products continues to rise in India, and India’s biotech sector and its track record of success.”

PM Modi stated that his administration had worked relentlessly to improve the Indian economy’s potential and power and that, unlike last administrations, which focused on only a few industries, his administration has given equal attention to all sectors.

“Unprecedented efforts are being taken in the biotech sector as well, as seen by the startup ecosystem.” The number of startups in our country has risen from a few 100 to 70,000 in the last eight years. Around 60 different industries are represented among the 70,000 startups. Biotech is related to over 5,000 companies in this sector. “Every 14th startup in the biotechnology sector is a biotech startup, and there were over 1100 biotech companies in the last year alone,” he stated.

PM Modi went on to say that the number of investors in the biotech sector has expanded by nine times, and the number of biotech incubators and funding for them has climbed by seven times. “From six in 2014 to 75 presently, the number of biotech incubators has expanded dramatically.” “Biotech goods have grown from ten to over 700 now,” he explained.

The Prime Minister stated that the government is fostering a culture of offering enabling interfaces to move beyond the government-centric approach. Platforms like BIRAC are being strengthened, and many other industries, like Startup India for startups, are adopting this approach. IN-SPACe for the space sector, iDEX for defence startups, India Semiconductor Mission for semiconductors, Smart India Hackathons to encourage youth innovation, and the biotech startup expo are some of the events.

“Instilling the spirit of Sabka Prayas, the government is bringing together the brightest minds in the sector on a single platform through new institutions.” This is yet another advantage for the country. “Research and academia create fresh breakthroughs for the country, industry assists in what is a real-world outlook, and the government provides the needed policy environment and infrastructure,” stated Prime Minister Modi.

He stated that the biotech business is one of the most demand-driven industries. India’s long-running campaign for ease of living has “opened up new possibilities for the biotech sector.” He noted that advances in health, agriculture, energy, natural farming, and bio-fortified seeds are opening up new opportunities for the industry.

Union ministers Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan, and Dr Jitendra Singh, and biotech industry stakeholders, specialists, SMEs, and investors, attended the event.

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About Biotechnology

Biotechnology is defined as “the application of organisms, cells, components thereof, and molecular analogues for products and services through the integration of natural sciences and engineering sciences.” Károly Ereky used the term “biotechnology” in 1919 to describe manufacturing products from raw materials using living organisms.

Biotechnology is a broad term that refers to many processes for altering living organisms for human purposes, dating back to animal domestication, plant cultivation, and “improvements” to these through breeding programmes that use artificial selection and hybridisation. Genetic engineering, and cell and tissue culture technology, are examples of modern applications. The American Chemical Society defines biotechnology as using biological creatures, systems, or processes by diverse businesses to learn about life science and improve the value of materials and organisms like medications, crops, and livestock.

According to the European Federation of Biotechnology, Biotechnology is the application of natural science to organisms, cells, sections of cells, and molecular equivalents in developing products and services. Biotechnology is based on basic biological sciences (like molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, embryology, genetics, and microbiology) and provides means to assist and conduct basic biological research.

Biotechnology is the application of bioinformatics to laboratory research and development for the exploration, extraction, exploitation, and production of high-value-added products from any living organisms and any source of biomass through biochemical engineering, where high-value-added products could be planned (for example, by biosynthesis), forecasted, formulated, developed, manufactured, and marketed for the purpose of long-term operations (for exclusives rights for sales, and before this to receive national and international approval from the results on animal experiment and human experiment, especially on the pharmaceutical branch of biotechnology to prevent any undetected side-effects or safety concerns by using the products).

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Biotechnology is the use of biological processes, species, or systems to create goods that are expected to benefit human lives.

On the other hand, bioengineering is often considered a related science that focuses on higher-level systems techniques for interacting with and exploiting living things.

Applying engineering and natural science principles to tissues, cells, and molecules is known as bioengineering. This can be defined as using information gained by working with and altering biology to produce a product that improves plant and animal functionality. On the other hand, biomedical engineering is an overlapping discipline that frequently uses and applies biotechnology (by many definitions), particularly in sub-fields of biomedical or chemical engineering, including tissue engineering, biopharmaceutical engineering, and genetic engineering.

Advantages of Biotechnology

Biotechnology has several benefits, including lowering pollution, saving lives, and improving the food supply. Let’s take a look at a few of the more important ones.

  • Highly Beneficial to Healthy Food Production

With biotechnology’s help, our foods’ nutritional value has been enhanced. Food biotechnology has improved scientists’ speed and precision, perhaps improving the food manufacturing process.

The basic nutrients in food are, of course, produced by crops grown on farms. Still, by employing biotechnology to control pests and weeds and enhance soil nutrient levels, biotechnology can assist the agricultural sector increase output and nutritional value of crops.

As a result, developing healthier meals can help alleviate health problems caused by vitamin deficiencies while increasing food availability. Worldwide, food production is reduced by about 35% due to food loss and deterioration caused by illnesses and pests.

Farmers lose a lot of money because of spoiling. On the other hand, common crops can be cultivated utilising conservative tillage with the help of biotechnology, resulting in less waste and saving farmers a lot of money.

  • Offers Improvement in The Medical Sector

Biotechnology’s grasp of the human species’ genetic makeup goes a long way toward improving medicine.

Pharmacogenomics and genetic testing, for example, are two key uses in medicine.
Understanding cancer, devising ways to cure it, producing vaccinations, and artificial tissue growth are just a few of the medical advances made possible by biotechnology. These advancements in medicine have made it feasible to extend the average human lifetime and assist a person who is ill in living longer lives.

  • Reduces The World’s Environmental Footprints

Environmental biotechnology aims to replace non-eco-friendly materials and chemical processes with more environmentally friendly biological and chemical alternatives.
Our environment suffers from a variety of pollution, the majority of which are created by fossil fuels, plastics, and building construction materials.

These materials emit hazardous compounds and carbon dioxide, both of which contribute to global warming. For example, fossil fuels are the leading source of air pollution, which causes a slew of health problems and kills millions of people each year.

These medical breakthroughs have made it possible to lengthen the average human lifespan and help sick people enjoy longer lives.

  • Reduces The World’s Environmental Footprints

Environmental biotechnology strives to replace non-eco-friendly materials and chemical processes with biological and chemical alternatives that are more environmentally friendly.

Our environment is polluted in many ways, the bulk of which are caused by fossil fuels, plastics, and building materials.

These materials produce huge quantities of dangerous chemicals and carbon dioxide, both of which contribute to global warming. Fossil fuels, for example, are the main source of air pollution, which causes a plethora of health issues and kills millions of people every year.

  • Reduces the Rate of Infectious Diseases

According to reliable sources, people with incurable conditions can access approximately 250 biotech health care items.

As we can see from all we’ve said thus far, biotechnology’s benefits in the medical field aren’t going away anytime soon. However, a discussion of biotechnology’s benefits would be incomplete without noting the development of vaccinations to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

Biotechnology’s understanding of genetic engineering and cell culture allows for the generation of vaccinations. Biotechnology has aided in treating complex diseases and discovering how infectious diseases are transmitted and cured.

These advancements have saved many lives and aid in protecting those whose genetic composition makes them more susceptible to these diseases, allowing them to live longer.

  • Helps To Conserve And Preserve

Biotechnology aims to create products and technologies that better our world by utilising cellular and biomolecular processes.

Biotechnology has the potential to conserve natural resources while providing us with a way to extend the life and shelf life of our foods. Recombinant antifreeze proteins with biotechnology are an example of a food preservation method.

Antifreeze proteins are recombinant proteins that can alter the formation of ice crystals and lower the freezing point of water. Due to these additives, frozen dairy products and fruits have a longer shelf life.

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Biotechnology Industry in India

India is one of the top 12 biotechnology locations in the world. There are around 5000 biotech companies in the industry, with 4,240 of them being startups and 760 being core biotech companies, with the number of startups predicted to reach 10,000 by 2024.

In the United States, India has 665 FDA-approved factories, 44 per cent of global abbreviated new drug applications (ANDA), and more than 1400 manufacturing units that meet WHO standards.

The country is the second-largest producer of BT cotton and the third-largest producer of recombinant Hepatitis B vaccine in the world (genetically modified pest-resistant plant cotton).

MARKET SIZE

The Indian bioeconomy grew at a 12.3% annual pace from US$ 62.5 billion in 2019 to US$ 70.2 billion in 2020.

The Indian biotechnology business, which was worth US$ 63 billion in 2019, is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 16.4% to US$ 150 billion by 2025. The Indian biotechnology industry is estimated to contribute 19 per cent to the global biotechnology market by 2025. Biopharmaceuticals are the largest segment in the Indian biotechnology market, accounting for 62 per cent of the market in 2020.

The Indian biologics industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22% to reach US$ 12 billion by 2025.

India’s biotech industry is expected to generate around US$ 12 billion in sales by 2021.
Clinical trials, contract research, and manufacturing operations are increasingly being conducted in bio-services, which will account for 15% of the biotechnology industry by 2020.

INVESTMENTS AND RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

For greenfield pharmaceuticals and medical device manufacturing, India authorises 100 per cent FDI under the automatic method (a non-resident or Indian business does not need government approval). The following are some new developments/investments in the Indian pharmaceutical sector:

February 2022:

ARISTA Biotech announced intentions to open a cleanroom environment production facility in Hong Kong to manufacture Covid-19 fast antigen testing kits to meet the growing local demand in February 2022.

The phase 2 and 3 trials of India’s first indigenous mRNA vaccine on people have been completed by Gennova Biopharmaceuticals. India’s Drug Controller General (DCGI) is scrutinising the data.

Vaxart, an American biotech company, has announced that phase II clinical trials of its Covid-19 oral tablet vaccination will begin soon in India.

In Patna, India delivered the world’s first DNA vaccine, ZYCOV-D, created by Zydus Cadila, an Ahmedabad-based vaccine producer.

Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin has been licenced for usage in Malaysia by the Malaysian Drug Control Authority (DCA).

Biological E’s Covid-19 vaccine Corbevax was awarded restricted emergency use authorisation by the DCGA of India for children aged 12 to 18.

Bharat Biotech gained permission from the DCGI to begin trials of its intranasal booster dose in India in January 2022.

November 20, 2021:

Karnataka has stated that by 2026, it wants to have a US$ 50 billion bio-economy, up from its present US$ 22.6 billion.

For the first time since April 2021, the Serum Institute of India has resumed supplies of Covid-19 shots to the worldwide vaccine-sharing platform COVAX.

INOVIO has got approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) of India’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organization to proceed with the Phase 3 section of INNOVATE (INOVIO INO-4800 Vaccine Trial for Efficacy).

WHO has given Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine COVAXIN an emergency use listing (EUL). It was found to have a 78 per cent efficiency against any severity of the Covid-19 virus.

Akston Biosciences, based in the United States, has announced that clinical trials of their second-generation Covid-19 vaccine, dubbed ‘AKS-452,’ would begin in India.

In October 2021, India and Colombia discussed the possibility of scientific cooperation in the field of biotechnology. Columbia is interested in collaborating with India on vaccines, biosimilars, and medical devices.

In August 2021, Bharat Biotech gained WHO prequalification approval for Rotavac 5D, a vaccine that prevents rotavirus diarrhoea.

GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES

February 2022: The Union Budget 2022-23 committed Rs. 2,581 crore (US$ 343.56 million) to the Department of Biotechnology for establishing basic infrastructure, genetic engineering, technologies and bioinformatics, agro-biotechnology, and training qualified people.

Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister of Science and Technology, launched a new Biotechnology Centre for Northeast tribals in the remote location of Kimin in November 2021. (Arunachal Pradesh).

Biomoneta, a startup that created an air decontamination technology that destroys airborne Covid-19 virus with 99.99 per cent efficiency in any closed setting, received funding from the Government of India and the Karnataka government.

In August 2021, the Central Council for Research in Siddha (CCRS) introduced ARIVU, an initiative to motivate academics and the industry to research to advance the value chain in industries like biotechnology and nanotechnology.

Department of Biotechnology:

The Ministry of Science and Technology’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) implemented the Atal Jai Anusandhan Biotech Mission. The mission addresses issues like mother and child health, antibiotic resistance, infectious disease vaccines, food and nutrition, and clean technology.

The Department of Biotechnology created a “One Health” initiative in October 2021 to survey bacterial, viral, and parasitic illnesses caused by zoonotic and transboundary pathogens in the country. The DBT-National Institute of Animal Biotechnology leads the partnership in Hyderabad, which includes 27 organisations.

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BIRAC

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) established the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) to enhance and empower growing biotechnology companies to conduct strategic research and innovation.

In October 2021, BIRAC established a research unit at Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research in Pondicherry to conduct clinical trials of new Covid-19 vaccines that are in development.

In October 2021, the Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, opened the BioNEST Bioincubator, a healthcare innovation incubation centre.

HempStreet became the first medicinal cannabis company to get a BIRAC grant in July 2021.

SanMitra 1000 HCT, a hand-cranked dual-powered (grid+hand cranked) defibrillator developed by Jeevtronics Pvt. Ltd., was funded by DBT-BIRAC in July 2021. Experts believe that this low-cost, lightweight gadget is more reliable than regular defibrillators because it may be used in areas without electricity.

Biotech Parks:

Biotech Parks: The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), under the Ministry of Science and Technology, has established biotechnology parks and incubators across the country to help scientists and SMEs translate research into products and services by providing the necessary infrastructure support.

The government funds nine biotechnology parks across the country, most of which are in the southern part.

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India’s biotechnology market to grow to $150 billion by 2025

The CII has released a paper that lays out the steps that must be taken to increase the biosimilars and vaccines market.

According to Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology & Department of Science and Technology, India will be not only the world’s pharmacy but the world’s research lab, and the bio-strategy plan in place will lead India to become a $150 billion market by 2025.

“Our focus should be on creating scalability that is matched with sustainability, and we will have at least 10,000 startups in the next five years,” Swarup said at the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) third Life Sciences Conclave.

‘Make in India’ report

“Taking India’s Life Sciences to the Global Stage – “Make in India” to power 4x growth in Biosimilars and Vaccines by 2026,” according to the CII research.

The research lays out the steps that must be taken to increase the biosimilars industry from $550 million to $5-6 billion dollars and vaccine sales from $2 billion to $4–5 billion dollars.

Research and capital

Meanwhile, Principal Scientific Adviser K Vijay Raghavan stated that there is a strong desire to conduct high-end research that is globally competitive and that the industry does not need resources but lacks risk capital.

“We need to connect our lab ecosystem to our industry and incorporate research into the larger picture,” says the researcher. Our population, network of labs, and the fundamental simplicity of research undertaken here would help India thrive in contrast to similarly situated countries,” he said.

Three points of action

Three plans to restructure the global industry are proposed in the paper. The first is that an inventive Mindset to Action is needed. This would necessitate increased risk capital availability for mid-stage Indian biotech startups, targeted government measures to improve biotech enterprises’ financial positions, human resource enhancement, and the formation of Indian bio-clusters.

The next step is to go from cost competitiveness to cost leadership by implementing Aatmanirbhar and developing domestic competence and reforming IPR and the regulatory process to save time and money.

The final step is to level the playing field by rehabilitating the image of Indian pharmaceuticals and strengthening the potential to seek global partnerships.

“Access to the supply chain for reusables and reagents in biologics and manufacturing is critical, and it’s critical that we indigenise many of these requirements to avoid supply chain disruptions,” said Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Biocon’s Executive Chair and Founder.

“The future belongs to biotech, bioscience, and biopharma,” she continued, “and we need to invest right now.” We need to establish an atmosphere that allows us to scale up by providing the required risk capital. This would necessitate the use of specialised venture capital funds.”

“Indian vaccine manufacturers have made a major contribution globally, as Indian vaccines are used to vaccinate two-thirds of the world’s children. The industry-focused more on children’s immunisations, but now it’s shifting to adult vaccines. “We need clinical trial centres all around the country and relationships with countries all over the world, mainly in Southeast Asia, Africa, and Latin America,” said Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech International Limited.

ROAD AHEAD

Entrepreneurship, nurturing native talent, and providing value-based care are all hallmarks of Indian biotechnology.

Given India’s long history with diseases, the country has amassed years of expertise and scientific understanding in preventing and treating diseases. Under several flagship programmes like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Start-up India,’ India aims to strengthen the biotechnology sector.

An increase in the number of biotech incubators will stimulate research and promote startup growth, both of which are crucial for the Indian biotech industry’s success.

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