Domestic cos yet to tap global pharma market

New Delhi, March 27 | Updated: Mar 28 2005, 06:16am hrs
A study conducted by the Union environment ministry and the public sector Biotech Consortium India Ltd shows Indian pharma companies are unable to tap the global market of over $30 billion for biopharmaceuticals as they are slow in developing recombinant DNA therapeutics. Majority of the pharma firms are engaged in marketing rDNA therapeutics by collaborating with foreign companies.

Comparatively, there is a progress in researches and applications of transgenic technology in agriculture, an area which is still under controversy and has a much smaller global market size ($5 billion as estimated by ISAAA). Transgenics developed in 13 crops in the country are under various stages of contained and multilocational field trials and researches are underway for developing transgenics in 22 crops.

The study says five pharma companies and one research institute are manufacturing rDNA therapeutics in India. They are Shantha Biotechnics, Bharat Biotech, Panacea Biotech, Wockhardt, Dr Reddys Laboratories and Serum Institute of India.

Shantha Biotechnics, Bharat Biotech, Panacea Biotech, Wockhardt and Serum Institute of India are producing Hepatitis-B vaccine. Shantha Biotechnics is also producing Interferon. Wockhardt is producing erythropoietin and insulin. Dr Reddys Lab is engaged in producing granulocyte colony stimulating factor.

The study notes some significant research and development activity in both private and public sector institutions. Some of the products which are under development include recombinant anthrax vaccine, recombinant HIV vaccine, recombinant cholera vaccine and streptokinase.