Genome Valley 2.0 announced at BioAsia

The Minister said, Genome Valley cluster is among the largest lifesciences cluster in Asia and we want to strengthen the dominant position. The cluster is home to more 200 companies with a workforce of 10,000.

By   |  Business Bureau  |  Published: 22nd Feb 2018  10:47 pmUpdated: 22nd Feb 2018  10:50 pm
I T Minister K. T. Ramarao presenting the Genome Valley Exellence Award 2018 to Prof Michael N. Hall, University of Basel, Switzerland at 15th BioAsia 2018 in Hyderabad. Photo:Surya Sridhar

Hyderabad: Even as Telangana stands tall in the pharmaceutical and life sciences sector, the government strives to strengthen the ecosystem in the coming years. To start off with, the government is looking to expand the Genome Valley cluster by creating Genome Valley 2.0 and this was announced by the Telangana IT Minister at the 15th edition of BioAsia.

The Minister said, “Genome Valley cluster is among the largest lifesciences cluster in Asia and we want to strengthen the dominant position. The cluster is home to more 200 companies with a workforce of 10,000. Major companies like Novartis, GSK, Sanofi, Ferring Pharma, Chemo, DuPoint, Ashland, United States Pharmacopeia, Lonza and many others have established their centres in the valley. I take this opportunity to announce that we will expand the cluster and will initiate a masterplan for the cluster, thus marking the beginning of Genome Valley 2.0. This cluster will serve as the launchpad for many successes in the healthcare sector.”

The Minister also pointed out that the valley recently welcomed Slayback Pharma – a US major that focuses injectables and formulation development for oral solids. In addition, Chemo – the Spanish Pharmaceuticals and Formulations Manufacturer – also commenced operations. Companies like Novartis, GSK, Biological E and Alembic also expanded their operations. The State is also working closely with Government of India to establish a animal resources facility and the Genome Valley has been accorded the Industrial Area Local Authority status.

In terms of numbers, the Minister told the global delegates that while the lifesciences ecosystem in Telangana is valued at $50 billion with over 800 companies, the government plans to double this figure to $100 billion in the next 10 years and create 4 lakh jobs. For this purpose, other than the Genome Valley 2.0, the Minister announced a slew of initiatives. At first, he said that the government is committed to see at least one new vaccine being launched from the companies in the State every year and for this it is proposing a first-of-its-kind incubator focused for vaccine development in Genome Valley. “Telangana today has maximum number of lifesciences incubators that house more than 100 companies and many of these companies are ready to graduate to set up their own manufacturing facilities. Our endeavour is to create incubation centres across the State – covering all research institutions and leading colleges.”

In terms of skilling, the Telangana Academy for Skills and Knowledge (TASK) has pharmaceuticals and biotechnology as its priority areas and the government plans to make tailor-made courses for the industry. “I also call upon all educational institutions and local industry to partner and impart on-the-job training. We are keen to establish institutes focused on areas like Immunotherapy, personalised medicine and Nanomedicine,” Rama Rao said.

To help companies, the government is coming up with a lifesciences policy that will encourage companies to partner with incubatees and help create innovation exchange. The Lifesciences Infrastructure Fund – that was announced last year – will start making investments in 2018 and aims to create assests in the sector that are worth Rs 3,000 crore in the next two to three years.

“The Hyderabad Pharma City project has been recognised as the project of national significance.Telangana Medical Devices park, which is the largest in the country, is uniquely positioned to help entreprenuers and industries, innovate & manufacture medical devices not just for India but for the world,” the Minister informed.