Indian biotech sector grows by 20 percent

July 15th, 2008 - 7:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, July 15 (IANS) India’s fledgling biotechnology sector posted $2.56 billion (Rs.103 billion) in revenue during 2007-08, registering 20 percent growth over the previous fiscal at $2.1 billion, an industry survey revealed. “Though the sector grew at a healthy 20 percent, it was lower than 30 percent growth posted over the previous five consecutive years, largely due to the rupee appreciating by 12 percent and pricing pressures impacting export earnings,” N. Suresh of BioSpectrum, which commissioned the survey, said here in a statement Tuesday.

The survey, conducted by the Association of Biotech Led Enterprises (ABLE), noted that 56 percent of the sector’s revenue - $1.44 billion - was generated from exports. Biopharma accounted for about 70 percent of exports, and bioservices 26 percent.

Investments grew by 21 percent at Rs.27.5 billion during the last fiscal. The top 20 homegrown firms accounted for 48 percent of the total biotech market.

“Going by the current trend and the new biotech policy of the central government, the sector is poised to generate $13-$16 billion by 2015. The revenue could go higher if innovative products in the pipeline get regulatory approval on time,” Suresh said.

According to ABLE president K.K. Narayanan, the sunrise sector could not sustain the growth momentum, as indigenous biotech products were yet to penetrate global markets.

Pune-based Serum Institute tops the sector with Rs.9.87 billion for the third consecutive year followed by Biocon, Panacea Biotech and Nuziveedu Seeds.

The Hyderabad-based Nuziveedu Seeds ranked first in the bioagri segment, with Rs.3.03 billion, relegating Salem-based Rasi Seeds to the second position.

Bioservices posted highest growth rate at 43 percent, followed by bioinformatics at 31 percent.

Biopharma and bioagri segments had slow growth during the fiscal under review. Though accounting for two-thirds of the sector revenue, bio-pharma grew by 16 percent.

“The biopharma segment, which is coming of age, is poised for a trajectory growth over the next five years. While bioservices will continue to attract significant interest, bio-generic exports to the regulated markets are set for a quantum leap in earnings,” ABLE director-general Shrikumar Suryanarayan said.

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