Hyderabad: Hyderabad’s scientists and entrepreneurs have given the life sciences sector its moment in the spotlight amidst the pandemic, with accelerated development of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics. The city rose to the occasion and made an impact for the world to witness. Its position as the “vaccine capital of the world” was further bolstered and it is a matter of pride that the world is looking to India and Hyderabad, said Telangana Industries Minister KT Rama Rao while inaugurating the 18th edition of BioAsia.
“Visit of foreign envoys from over 60 countries and that of the Prime Minister to Genome Valley is a testimony to the cluster’s significance in the global context,” added KTR.
He lauded Bharat Biotech’s contribution and commitment to develop
India’s first indigenous vaccine for Covid-19, and the efforts of Biological E, Indian Immunologicals and others in vaccine development. He added, Hetero Pharma and Dr Reddy’s are also augmenting the global supply by manufacturing and distributing Russian vaccine Sputnik. Further, Aurobindo Pharma is building a world-class vaccine manufacturing facility with a capacity of about 450 million doses.
All these highlight the position of Hyderabad as the vaccine capital of the world and significant global population will be immunised with vaccines produced in Hyderabad.
Hub for life sciences
Speaking about the potential of Telangana, KTR added, “Our dream and vision of growing the life sciences industry to over $100 billion looks plausible and we remain committed to it. I would like to highlight that even after the widespread health and economic distress caused by Covid-19 pandemic, the life sciences sector in Telangana has responded with resilience and witnessed tremendous growth during the year. Life sciences sector in the State has attracted investments to the tune of about Rs 3,700 crores in last one year with an employment potential for around 14,000 people.”
Highlighting other accomplishments made by the State, he said, the approval of Umbralisib for cancer treatment is historic as it is the first drug ever discovered in India and approved by the US FDA. “I am extremely proud that the discovery of Umbralisib is led from Incozen’s facility in Genome Valley.”
Genome Valley also witnessed large pharmaceutical companies announcing expansion plans. Sai Life Sciences, a contract research organisation, inaugurated its new Research & Development centre at Genome Valley with an investment of about Rs 400 crores. The sprawling campus will play a pivotal role in accelerating the discovery and development of new drugs.
Syngene’s campus in Genome Valley which was inaugurated during the last edition of BioAsia, saw the number of scientists doubling in a year from 100 to over 225 now. The company, which had leased a building last February, is rapidly growing to occupy their third building in the middle of this year.
GVK Bio, another Hyderabad-based company focused on supporting global innovators, is also expanding rapidly and will be adding 600 new jobs this year in Hyderabad, which highlights Hyderabad’s unmatched scientific prowess.
Further, Granules India will invest about Rs 400 crores to set up a facility with capacity to manufacture 10 billion units of finished dosages that will generate employment for about 1,600 persons. And Laurus Labs is investing Rs 300 crores to set up a formulation facility in Genome Valley with a capacity of five billion units.
Switzerland-based Ferring Pharmaceuticals, which announced its entry into Genome Valley previously, started operations last year. Further, a Canadian company called Jamp Pharmaceutical had announced investment in Genome Valley in 2018 and their state-of-the-art facility in Genome Valley is nearing completion. They have aggressive growth plans in Hyderabad, and the minister said he is looking forward to inaugurating this facility next month.
“We also have Indian Council for Medical Research establishing the country’s largest National Animal Resource facility for biomedical research in Genome Valley, which is also expected to be inaugurated soon,” he informed.
Focus on biopharma
The Government of Telangana is partnering with Cytiva to set up a biopharma scale up facility- B-Hub in Genome valley. “As you know, eight out of 10 top selling drugs globally today are biopharmaceuticals. While there exist formidable capabilities in chemical drugs in the country, B-Hub will help Telangana and India in accelerating the growth of the biopharmaceutical sector. I am confident that Telangana will emerge the biopharmaceutical capital of India,” said the minister.
KTR said the medical devices sector is another area, which promises extraordinary growth opportunities for the State. The Medical Devices Park continues to be the destination-of-choice and around 40 companies are establishing their manufacturing and R&D facilities.
Some of these companies have already started commercial production and many of them are lined up for commencement by end of this year. “With operationalisation of these units, I am confident that the landscape of the park will transform, and the park will become the hotbed for Medtech activities in the country,” he added.
Global medical devices major Medtronic had announced one of their biggest investments – $170 million- globally last year to establish its largest innovation and engineering centre in Hyderabad. The centre is ready and the facility is geared up for inauguration next month.
KTR emphasised, “On the pharma front, we remain committed to grounding the Hyderabad Pharma City project soon to support India’s pharma industry regain its leadership position in APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients) and KSMs (key starting materials) offering significant cost and value benefits. I am confident of creating a new global benchmark for sustainable industrial cities with this initiative.”
In addition, the Telangana government is also working on several other initiatives such as Digital Medicine Hub, Institute for Cell and Gene Therapy, Flow Chemistry Hub, a world-class life sciences university, and many more to build strong foundations for the next generation opportunities.
The State will continue to support the rapid growth of the startup ecosystem by facilitating plug and play infrastructure, access to capital, access to medical information and validation support among others, assured KTR.
Telangana Industries and Commerce principal secretary Jayesh Ranjan, Telangana Life Sciences director Shakti Nagappan, Telangana State Life Sciences Advisory Committee Satish Reddy, Dr Krishna Ella and Suchitra Ella of Bharat Biotech and other industry leaders were also present at the BioAsia inaugural programme. KTR presented the Genome Valley Excellence Award to Bharat Biotech for its breakthrough, pioneering research, development and commercialisation of vaccines.