Opening up India to the increased liberalization and competition of the global economy has caused Indian industry to reinvent itself. Following the Agreement on Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Indian pharmaceutical companies have reconsidered indigenous technologies. This self-examination process began in 1995 when the Government of India signed the TRIPS agreement. Companies including Shantha Biotechnics, Bharat Biotech, and Biocon received a push to look for innovative drugs from India. At the same time, major pharmaceutical companies from India, who until that time were focused more on process chemistry, started making investments in research and development. Even the Government of India provides support to this emerging industry through providing financial support, expanding human resources and sponsoring improvements of the infrastructure. In addition to the public sector, the private sector and VC funding emerged as major contributors. Pharma, biotech and related business components started to expand their technology offerings, emulating their more mature peers in the developed economies. The Indian biopharmaceutical sector is changing from a low-end research and manufacturing base to a value added partner in the global marketplace. Biotech companies in India are focusing on high-end technologies, drug discovery, and scalable products. At present they are not only sponsoring in-house research, but also contract research for global pharmaceutical companies like Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, etc. Smaller biopharmaceutical companies, which initially emulated the services model, are moving towards innovative research and drug discovery, realizing that it is imperative to move towards a product driven model to attract VC funding and scale up growth. A similar transformation is taking place with India’s pharmaceutical companies who are incorporating wet labs for a sustainable growth and acquisition of more targeted molecules. At the same time they are also expanding their manufacturing facilities to increase volume and offer the medicines at an affordable price to the customers
About the Authors:
CyberMedia Singapore Pte Ltd
Narayan Kulkarni is an Associate Editor for BioSpectrumAsia, based at Singapore. BioSpectrumAsia – a B2B magazine focused on life sciences industry in Asia Pacific region- is a publication from CyberMedia Singapore Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of CyberMedia India Ltd. Prior to this, he was working for BioSpectrum, a B2B magazine focused on the Indian biotechnology industry based at Mumbai. While working with BioSpectrum (from 2003-07), he contributed to the survey of the Indian biotechnology industry, including the biopharmaceutical sector conducted by BioSpectrum in association with ABLE- Association Led Biotech Enterprises. He has 10 years of experience in print media and has been with BioSpectrum since its inception in 2002. Before joining BioSpectrum, he was with Indian Express, CommodityIndia.com, and Kodagu Front. He has Master’s degrees in Mass Communication and Journalism from Karnataka University, Dharwad. He also holds a post graduate (PG) Diploma in Marketing from Indira Gandhi National Open University. He was the recipient of a National Merit Scholarship.