Biotech sector to become $5 bn industry by 2010: Assocham


New Delhi : The Indian biotechnology sector, a $1.5 billion industry in 2004-05, is all set to become a $5 billion industry in the next four years, says a leading industry lobby.

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The biotech industry, which currently boasts of 300 biotech firms, will witness the doubling of these firms to 600 in three-four years, said a research – Biotechnology Future – done by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham).

Even though the industry is relatively smaller in size compared to the IT and ITES industry, the growth is similar (35 percent annually).

"Biopharma, the largest segment of the biotech industry, grew by 32 percent to exceed $1 billion in 2005-06. Exports were at $763 million, and accounted for 52 percent share of the industry's total revenues," said Venugopal N. Dhoot, president, Assocham.

According to its findings, the sectors that are observing fastest growth are agri biotech and bio services. These sectors have invited investments of over $360 million in fiscal 2005-06, registering a growth of 36 percent over 2004-05.

Assocham noted that the main areas of interest of some of the leading biotech firms like Bharat Biotech, Biocon, Dr. Reddy's Lab, Panacea Biotech, Serum Institute, Shanta Biotech, Wockhardt and Zydus, are vaccines and bio-generics.

It further said the biotech industry would invite major investments, which could well surpass $700 million in the form of joint ventures within sectors of agriculture, horticulture and viticulture.

The industry has the potential to attract investments from international agencies such as World Bank, International Finance Corporation, banks, venture capitals, private equity arms, the report said.

Assocham added that more and more leading Indian biotech firms like Biocon, DRL, Wockhardt and Panacea Biotech are lapping up major drug manufacturing deals and contracts, which will also aug ur well for the sector.