A revolution: biotech patents in India


Archana Shanker

It has taken a long time for India to develop a productive environment for biotechnology. But recent developments look to have put it on the right track. Archana Shanker explains.

In May 2011, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals entered into a licence agreement with Sanofi Aventis in one of the first-ever deals for a novel biologic molecule in India for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Bharat Biotech, an Indian Biotech company, developed a diarrhoea vaccine to be supplied to the UN and other markets at $1 each, making it the cheapest vaccine available in the market.

In 2006, India, despite having excellent technical manpower, did not have any novel biotechnology product to its credit. In 2009, Biocon developed the first and only novel humanised monoclonal antibody for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis in Class 1, and in 2011, Glenmark developed a novel biopharmaceutical for the treatment of auto-immune diseases.

A recent survey shows that there are around 400 biotechnology companies in India that contribute approximately 30 percent of the total revenue of the sector. There are around 50 research and development labs in the public sector providing high-quality R&D services at a low cost.

biotechnology, biological processes, Glenmark, Sanofi Aventis, Novartis