India’s biotech sector is expected to grow at a robust 20 per cent per annum in the near future,given the growing demand for biopharmaceuticals,biosimilars and vaccines,says a veteran in the field.
Biofuels would also offer a huge growth opportunity in biotech,the Chairman and Managing Director of Biocon,the country’s largest biotech company by revenue,Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said.
“We are entering the era of bioeconomy,where biotechnology can provide powerful solutions to some of the grave challenges that we face today: food scarcity,energy deficit,environmental damage,unmet medical needs and industrial pollution,” she said.
Mazumdar-Shaw said the size of the country’s biotech sector had reached USD 3.5 billion in 2010 and is poised for robust growth in all segments of biotechnology.
“India is already a world leader in vaccine production,Bt Cotton and bio-pharmaceuticals,especially bio-similars,” she said. “India is also a large producer of industrial enzymes for green technologies & bioremediation. We also have critical mass in tissue culture-based cultivation.”
However,Mazumdar-Shaw also referred to regulatory delays,import-export delays and restrictions,lack of venture funding and the listing norms that are unfavourable to innovation-led biotech companies.
“The inherent risk associated with gestational time lines involved in developing biotech products is a huge deterrent for investors. Example,Bt Brinjal”,she pointed out.
Asked about her vision for Bangalore-headquartered Biocon,Mazumdar-Shaw,who has been named among TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world,said: “I am committed to pursuing our strategy of delivering affordable drugs for global markets that make a difference to healthcare.”