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Mr Shrikumar Suryanarayanan

Biopharma sales helps India BioEconomy surge to 51 Billion Dollar : National BioEconomy grew nearly 15 percent to $51 billion in 2018 from about $44 billion in previous year.

Posted on 2019-06-04 09:14:00

“Surging sales of Biotherapeutics, vaccines, biosimilars, increasing demand for a wide range of diagnostic services by affluent population have boosted India’s biotech sector and the overall BioEconomy to $51 billion in 2018. ABLE’s Research Group estimates that the national BioEconomy grew nearly 15 percent to $51 billion in 2018 from about $44 billion in previous year.”

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The continuing popularity of India’s only approved transgenic crop, GM cotton, adds considerable heft to the national BioEconomy, along with increased use of biofuels in one of the faster growing large economies in the word. Recently government had to destroy illegally cultivated transgenic Bt brinjal (aubergine) crops in North India after transgenic seeds made its way here from neighboring Bangladesh where it is officially cultivated. The BioAgri industry is hopeful that the re-elected Modi government will give the GM technology a favorable look in the near future.

Even more heartening is the continuing entrepreneurial activities that led the formation of a record 937 startups in the biotech segment in 2018. Records from India’s Registrar of Companies, analyzed by ABLE team indicates that biotech startup formation has accelerated by 32% to 937 in 2018 from 710 in the previous year. With this India now boasts of having 2,669 biotech startups.

ABLE’s and government’s systematic push to entice biotechnologists to take the entrepreneurial plunge is bearing fruits, indicated by these numbers. Government’s huge investments in setting up incubators in key BioClusters and fiscal incentives, availability of mentors and a maturing biotech ecosystem are some of the prime drivers. Bangalore, Mumbai-Pune, Hyderabad, National Capital Region around Delhi are the key clusters where majority of India’s biotech startups are located.

Some key regulatory and policy initiatives like the DNA Technology (use and application) Bill, the $250 million National Biopharma Mission to strengthen research and development infrastructure in both private and government sector, a $20 million India Microbiome Project, a national Antimicrobial Resistance project, and streamlining of the Medtech sector with the notification of India Medical Devices Rules have the potential to boost the sector further in the next few years. India is also expected to tweak the Biodiversity Act to remove some of the industry unfriendly features to spur innovation using the country’s vast biological resources.

The newly launched Universal Health Insurance scheme to provide each family with $ 8000 coverage is gathering pace and will increase access to affordable medicines more than 500 million
needy Indians.

We at ABLE continue to be optimistic about India’s and the biotech sector’s growth prospects in the near future.