Monday, January 24, 2011

“Bridging the Gap in Biotech-Healthcare & Agri-biotech”

The NRDC, ASSOCHAM and FAPCCI are jointly organized a National Seminar on

“Bridging the Gap in Biotech-Healthcare and Agri-biotech Commercialization” today at Surana Udyog Auditorium, Federation House, Hyderabad.

Smt. J. Geetha Reddy Hon’ble Minister for Major Industries, Sugar, Commerce & Export Promotion was the Chief Guest for the occasion. Mr. Shekhar Agarwal, President, FAPCCI, Mr. Arunabha Prabhan, Chief, Business Development, National Research Development, Corporation, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India, Dr. S.L. Hoti, Deputy Director, VCRC, Mr. Prashant Mani, Biochemistry Department, DU, South Campus, Dr. Shamim Ali, Asst. Professor, Jamia Hamdard University, Dr. R P Singh, Incharge ITMU, IVRI, Dr. Archana Suman, IARI, Dr. G.S. Reddy, Chief General Manager, Indian Immunological Limited, Hyderabad, Dr. (Mrs.) Santosh Dhillon, Dean, College of Basic Science, Mr. D V Giri, Regional Director, ASSOCHAM and large number of businessmen’s are participated in the session.

Dr. Geetha Reddy, J said in her speech that the - as I notice that the topic of the Seminar is Bridging the Gap in “Biotech-Healthcare & Agri-Biotech Commercialization”. Which is of utmost importance in today’s context especially for the State of Andhra Pradesh as the State is one of the frontrunners in this field not only in India but globally. Government of Andhra Pradesh has already identified the biotech sector as one of the "Engines of Growth" in its Vision 2020 document. The Government of Andhra Pradesh is leveraging the existing strengths of the state for rapid commercialization of biotechnology to produce innovative biotech products and services in a wide range of areas.

Biotechnology is a frontier technology which has the potential to provide very substantial benefits to society in a wide range of sectors such as agriculture, medical and health, forestry, animal husbandry, environment protection, and improving the quality of products and services.

We believe that the presence of a knowledge-based industry comprising a large number of bulk drug and pharmaceutical companies in the Andhra Pradesh provides a unique advantage to the State in the field of Pharma Biotech. We take extreme proud in the fact that the only two companies in India i.e. Shantha Biotechnics Pvt. Ltd. and Bharat Biotech International Ltd. which have successfully commercialized biotech products based on recombinant DNA technologies are both located in Hyderabad. And we are sure with these kind of seminar’s being organized by ASSOCHAM & N R D C, jointly with FAPCCI, more and more such success stories will emerge.

The State is also fortunate to have a large network of research laboratories, such as, the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Dr. Reddy’s Research Foundation (DRF), Aurobindo Research Centre, ICICI Knowledge Park Ltd., Hyderabad Eye Research Foundation, Institute of Genetics and Hospital for Genetic Diseases and the Life Sciences Departments of the University of Hyderabad and of Osmania University. This existing infrastructure for research will provide the necessary support to the development of biotechnology in the State.

Complex regulatory procedures, lack of good quality infrastructure, rigid labor laws, the scarcity of scientific personnel with experience in manufacturing biotech products, Intellectual Property Right issues and their enforcement through the Courts and complicated clearance procedures for commercialization of new biotech products are some of the problems faced by the biotech industry in the State.

Though, the availability of the requisite talent pool, specialist pharmacists and scientists, state-incentivized educational programmes put together has helped in the growth of Biotech and Healthcare industry in Andhra Pradesh; it is necessary to introduce carefully drafted industry-friendly and proactive policies to tap into the $ 100 billion outsourcing opportunity, by providing incentives that would attract local and foreign players to set up shop. Also there is a growing need for simplification of the procedures for various clearances required for commercializing new biotech products or services.

Andhra Pradesh government is trying to provide good quality infrastructure but still much higher quality infrastructure is needed at a reasonable cost with integrated services to biotech manufacturing units. The State is trying to match up the requirement by setting up a series of Biotech Parks throughout the State.

These Biotech parks will foster Biotech activities that promote economic development through the development and exchange of knowledge and technologies. These parks will provide an investor-friendly environment that will attract large corporations to set their Biotech R&D and manufacturing units here and will also, nurture start-up companies. This will in turn provide not only high quality infrastructure for biotechnology such as superior telecommunications, uninterrupted power, well developed road network, assured water supply and attractive housing and recreation areas, but also specialized facilities and services such as training and research institutes, bioinformatic centres, and input suppliers.

Overall there is tremendous scope for using biotechnology in disease diagnosis in the production of vaccines. Private companies need to be encouraged to develop biotech vaccines and diagnostic kits. For these activities necessary support will be given for research and extension.

Mr. Shekhar Agarwal said in his welcome address is that the Biotechnology is one of the thrust areas for growth, identified for rapid development in Andhra Pradesh. The state is naturally endowed with one of the richest biodiversities and enjoys a dominant position in pharmaceuticals, medical sciences and healthcare. Andhra Pradesh is the first State to recognize the importance of Biotechnology in the all round development of the country’s economy. Especially Hyderabad, the capital city, provides a unique climate for biotechnology research and manufacturing. Hyderabad is home to some of India’s premier research establishments, biotech companies, hospitals, and healthcare networks. It has given shape to India’s first Biotech Cluster- Genome Valley (GV), which is located near capital city of Hyderabad. It is India’s first state - of - art biotech cluster. Genome Valley is home to the leading biotechnology institutions and private pharma companies. The institutions include: Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, National Institute for Nutrition, and Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics and many more.

Pharma is another potential sector of the State. In order to regulate the zoning of Pharma industry, the State Government have promoted Jawaharalal Nehru Pharma City in an area of 2200 acres at Visakhapatnam with required infrastructure facilities, which is first of its kind in the country. Similarly, our Government has promoted 5 Pharma SEZs and 4 Biotech SEZs developed by APIIC and local Pharma Industrialists. A Cluster for manufacturing of Medical Devices & Equipments called MEDTECH VALLEY has also been launched at Jawaharnagar near Genome Valley, the Biotech Hub of India. We are very happy to place on record that, after establishment of PHARMEXCIL, the exports of our country have grown from around US$ 3.8 billion to US$ 8.9 billion. Exports have grown with formulations at 58%, bulk drugs at 41% and herbals at 1%.

The pharma city and biotech parks have played a dominant role in changing the pharma landscape in the state. In fact, the biotech park and pharma city have placed the state in a firm position to deliver environment friendly pharma manufacturing with world class standards.

Our Government has launched most investor friendly industrial policy duly giving a major thrust for Pharma and Biotechnology sector. I am happy to share that our state is offering the lowest power tariffs among the industrialized states of the country. Over and above this, the state is offering Rs 0.75 Ps per unit reimbursement for a period of 5 years. The policy covers, Investment subsidy, reimbursement of VAT, Single Window clearance system and special incentives for mega projects. The state has witnessed huge investments in recent past through Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) expansions, new projects, and also in the new Pharma SEZs.

Mr. Arunabha Pradhan said on the vision and mission of National Research Development Corporation and Large Technology Resource Base - over 200 Research Institutes, Universities. He also said that the more than 4600 entrepreneurs obtained licenses from NRDC for various technologies and large depository of over 2500 technologies available for transferring to the Industry in India and abroad and majority of them are suitable for SMEs. He presented an power proint presentation on NRDC Sources of Technology, business associates, network, Innovations in Agriculture and Use of Geo Textiles from Coir.

Mr. D.V. Giri offered the vote of thanks.


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