Investors meet in TN: Biopharma gets a boost

Swathi Moorthy Chennai | Updated on January 23, 2018

Biopharmaceuticals use biotechnology to produce drugs from life forms, such as bacteria and enzymes

Market expected to be worth ₹21 lakh crore by 2020; India well suited for investment

The biopharmaceutical industry has attracted more investments as compared to the traditional pharmaceutical sector, for the Global Investors Meet (GIM).

M Velmurugan, Executive Vice-Chairman of Guidance Bureau, Industries Department (Government of Tamil Nadu), said Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology sectors have received a cumulative investment of around ₹4,000 crore preceding the meet.

He told BusinessLine that a majority of the investments relate to biopharmaceuticals, which use biotechnology to produce drugs from life forms like bacteria and enzymes.

Increasing market

According to a report published by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the Department of Pharmaceuticals – Government of India – the biopharmaceutical market is expected to be worth ₹21 lakh crore ($319 billion) by 2020, from ₹9 lakh crore ($137 billion) in 2009. The report states that biosimilars, copies of original biopharmaceuticals products, cost 15-75 per cent of original versions and has the potential to bring in an additional revenue of ₹28,300 crore ($4.3 billion) a year for India.

S Abhaya Kumar, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Shasun Pharmaceutical Limited, said, “This presents enormous opportunities for the country.”

Kumar said countries abroad are looking to reduce health costs and India’s cost competitiveness provides them an opportunity for investment.

Tamil Nadu has robust infrastructure capabilities like well connected ports for procuring raw materials and manufacturing facilities to produce chemicals reducing dependency on other States. The GIM, to be held on September 9 and 10 in Chennai, provides opportunity to look at investments in the State, Kumar said.

The State government has proposed a bio-pharmaceutical SEZ in Krishnagiri Districtto promote research and development. The total turnover of the Pharmaceutical industry in Tamil Nadu is ₹4,500 crore, which accounts for market share of 2.5-3 per cent in India. J Jayaseelan, Chairman of the Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association, said there are more than 1,000 companies in the State of which only around 250 contribute to global sales and the rest are small scale industries, catering to local demand.

Jayaseelan said that though the initiatives taken by the State to promote biotechnology are appreciable, there needs to be a dedicated policy to boost the pharmaceutical industry as well.

Stating that pharmaceutical is a research-intensive field, Jayaseelan said there are only two government colleges that offer a professional degree in Pharmaceuticals – one of the reasons for low market share of the business.

Published on August 28, 2015

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