While biotech and pharma are referred to as sunrise sectors,a new study reveals only an insignificant amount of innovative,patentable work has been carried out so far as part of the outsourcing process to Indian pharma-biotech firms. The study titled work outsourced to Indian biotech and pharma companies is not yet significantly innovative, focuses on projects outsourced and has been published in the latest edition of Current Science.
This finding should be a matter of concern to the Indian government that the domestic Indian industry is not big or sophisticated enough to attract more outsourced R&D work that involves inventorship by Indian company, it says.
The authors are Sajna Soby,Muthukrishnakumar Kandasamy and Gayatri Saberwal from the Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology,Bangalore. Many Indian biotech and pharma companies undertake contract research for companies based abroad. To quantify the inventorship associated with this outsourcing,we studied US patents assigned to non-Indian companies,with inventors based in India. Of the 4,094 patents in all disciplines,only 20 were relevant,an insignificant number. If creative skills in the drug discovery process are not being honed,the prospects of original drug discovery in India are poor and will hinder affordable medicine in future, say the authors.