But Western region topples South

Our Bureau

Bangalore, June 7

Bangalore has turned out to be the country's largest biocluster of 158 of 320 companies and turning out total revenues of Rs 1,400 crore, according to a brief status report presented by Ms Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson of the Karnataka Vision Group on Biotechnology and CMD of Biocon Ltd.

Fifty-five per cent of the biotech companies are located in Karnataka, which bagged 27 of the 28 companies that were registered last year. The State has a headcount of 6,800 scientists, she said at the Bangalore Bio meet, which opened here on Wednesday.

West leads

However, the Western region, with a turnover of Rs 3,234 crore of half the domestic biotech revenue, toppled the South, with revenues of Rs 2,367 crore, from the top spot.

Industry growth

For the entire country, investments in biotechnology rose 36 per cent to touch Rs 1,650 crore during April 2005-March 2006.

This was a significant growth for an industry of the size of Rs 250 crore in 2000-01.

The industry grew at 37.5 per cent during the period, posting a total turnover of Rs 6,521 crore ($1.47 billion) and is well on its track of reaching the $5-billion mark by 2010.

Ms Mazumdar-Shaw said the growth was in spite of bottlenecks in medical infrastructure, finance, regulatory aspects and human resource.

Biopharma tops

Biopharmaceuticals topped Rs 4,700 crore, as much as last year's total figure for the industry.

Bioservices such as contract and clinical research amounted to Rs 720 crore; agribiotech Rs 598 crore; industrial biotechnology Rs 375 crore and bioinformatics Rs 120 crore.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 8, 2006)
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