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  • Published on: 7th September 2019
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PaThe Indian biotechnology sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in India.  Biotechnology is the application of biological organisms, systems, or processes by various industries for improvement of the value of materials and organisms. Industrial biotechnology (White biotechnology) is the application of life sciences to conventional manufacturing and synthesis processes. Numerous comparative developments of research facilities, knowledge, skills, and cost effectiveness, the biotechnology industry in India plays a global key player. This sector is among one of the sectors which have highlighted the profile of the country in the last decade. Advances in biotechnology can be converted into products, processes, and technologies by creating an interdisciplinary team.  It yields more and more viable solutions for our environment. It also helps to improve the industrial performance and product value. At present, industrial biotechnology is strongly developing. It uses biological systems for the production of useful chemical entities. This technology is mainly based on biocatalysis and fermentation technology in combination with molecular genetics and metabolic engineering. The technology has developed into a main contributor to the so-called green chemistry, in which renewable resources such as sugars or vegetable oils are converted into a wide variety of chemical substances such as fine and bulk chemicals, pharmaceuticals, bio-colorants, solvents, bio-plastics, vitamins, food additives, bio-pesticides and bio-fuels such as bio-ethanol and bio-diesel. It uses genetically enhanced bacteria, yeasts, fungi and results in; lower production costs, more profit reduces or prevents pollution enhances resource conservation. It is the most promising new approaches to pollution prevention, resource conservation, and cost reduction. The application of industrial biotechnology offers significant ecological advantages. Agricultural crops are used starting raw materials, instead of using fossil resources such as crude oil and gas. This technology consequently has a beneficial effect on greenhouse gas emissions and at the same time supports the agricultural sector producing these raw materials. Industrial biotechnology frequently shows significant performance benefits compared to conventional chemical technology.

The biotechnology sector is one of the most significant and innovative sectors in India and is enhancing the India\'s global profile as well as contributing to the growth of the economy. India is among the top 12 biotech destinations in the world and ranks third in the Asia-Pacific region. The Indian biotech industry holds about 2 per cent share of the global biotech industry. The industry is classified into five different segments Biopharmaceuticals, BioServices, BioAgriculture, BioIndustrial and BioInformatics.  Biopharmaceuticals is the largest sector contributing about 64 per cent of the total revenue followed by bioservices (18 per cent), bioagriculture (14 per cent), bioindustry (3 per cent), and bioinformatics contributing (1 per cent) (http://www.ibef.org). Segment-wise revenue share of Biotech industry in the year 2012-13 were shown in table-1.

Biopharmaceuticals: The biopharmaceutical is the largest segment of the Indian biotech industry sector (about 60%) of the biotechnology industry.  It is one of the most rapidly growing high-tech industries (Rader, 2007; Lowe and Jones, 2007). India has an important position in the global pharmaceuticals sector. The sector mainly comprises of biologics viz., store vaccines, bio-similars, therapeutics, diagnostics, regenerative medicines and medical technology. India\'s pharmaceutical industry consists of 250 to 300 companies, which account for 70 percent of products on the market, with the top 10 firms representing 30 percent. However, the total sector is estimated at nearly 20,000 businesses, some of which are extremely small. Approximately 75 percent of India\'s demand for medicines is met by local manufacturing (Pharma Review, August 2005).  Biopharmaceutical products like hormones such as Insulin, Erythropoietin, Streptokinase and Interferon, Growth Hormones, Granulocyte Stimulating Factor, Follicle Stimulating Factor, Blood Factor VIII, Tissue Plasmogen Activator and Vaccines are considerably more expensive than traditional ones, largely due to the high-cost technology required for production.

Bioservices: It is the next big domain in the Biotechnology industry which includes, Contract research, pre-clinical and clinical trials and is set to play a key role in shaping India\'s rapidly developing bio-economy. Leading companies include Quintiles India, Syngene International, Lambda Therapeutics amongst others. These and the other companies are involved in diverse areas including, target identification and validation, development of assays, clinical trials and data management. India is already being globally recognised as a manufacturer of economical, high-quality bulk drugs and formulations and the future lies in biologics, especially biosimilars and vaccine manufacturing.

Bio-agriculture: Bio-Agriculture is the third largest sector of the Indian biotech industry. Apart from genetically modified (GM) crops, bio-fertilizers, bio-fuels and bio-pesticides are also contributing to the growth of the Indian agri-biotech market. Also bio-agriculture is an emerging scientific area which is useful for breeding nutritious, high-yielding and less resource input-demanding crops. Currently emphasis is on GM crops, marker assisted technology and using biotechnological tools to study and improve soil quality and fertilizers. Some other potential areas of development include medicinal and aromatic plants, animal biotechnology, aquaculture and marine biotechnology, seri biotechnology, environmental biotechnology, biofuels and biopesticides.

Bio industrial: The bio-industrial sector mainly comprises of enzymes that have multiple industrial uses and the generation of bio-energy through sources such as biomass and bio-fuels, biopolymers as well as bioremediation techniques. Enzymes are used in different industrial processes, medicine be it in biopharmaceutical, seek food and nutrition, search textile, leather and green chemicals (i.e. polymers derived using bio-based enzymes.) The enzymes sector is growing, fuelled by the steadily rising Indian middle class economy, where there is a growing tendency towards an increasing depending on food, drugs, textiles and leather products. Novozymes is the undisputed leader in enzyme manufacture contributing almost 50% of the total revenues of this segment. Different types of enzymes are produced for use in food, leather, drugs and biofuel production.

Bioinformatics: This is the smallest contributor to the Indian Biotechnology industry although it has a great potential to grow. Bio-informatics and systems biology serves as inter-disciplinary tools for deeper biotechnology studies in health and medicine wherein systems biology approaches are helping us to sequence and analyze for high yielding crops or other subsectors.

Moreover, treatment the rising developments in this industry sector predict a major revenue growth for India in the next 5 to 10 years. The key players in India include Strand Life Sciences; Cellworks; Ocimum Biosolutions; ConnexiosLife Sciences; vLife; Ganit Labs; Persistent Systems; Molecular Connections; Genotypic; Geschickten Biosciences, hospital and several others. Indian IT firms such as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Cognizant and Infosys also maintain relatively small bio-informatics and healthcare sections within their organizations.

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