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The biotechnology industry in India comprises >2700 biotech start-ups and is estimated to reach 10,000 by 2024.

Biotechnology industry in India

    Last updated on Feb, 28 2021

Indian Biotechnology Industry Report  (Size: 960.71 KB ) (November, 2020)


India is among the top 12 destinations for biotechnology worldwide. The industry comprises >2,700 biotech start-ups and >2,500 biotech companies in the country. India has 665 FDA-approved plants the US; 44% of the global abbreviated new drug applications (ANDA) and >1400 manufacturing plants, which are compliant with WHO.

The country is also the world’s third-largest producer of recombinant Hepatitis B vaccine and second-largest producer of BT cotton (genetically modified pest resistant plant cotton).

Market Size

The Indian biotechnology industry amounted to US$ 63 billion in 2019 and is forecast to reach US$ 102 billion by 2025, with a CAGR of 10.9%. By 2025, the contribution of the Indian biotechnology industry in the global biotechnology market is expected to grow to 19% from 3% in 2017. Biopharmaceutical is the largest segment that contributed ~58% to the Indian biotechnology market in 2019, followed by bio-agriculture, which accounted for 19% and bio-services, which accounted for 15% in 2019.

Bio-services, which accounted for 15% of the biotechnology industry in India, is becoming a leading destination for clinical trials, contract research and manufacturing activities in the country.

Investments and Recent Developments

India allows 100% FDI under the automatic route (a non-resident or Indian company will not require any approval from the government) for greenfield pharmaceuticals and manufacturing medical devices. Some recent developments/investments in the Indian chemical sector are as follows:

  • In November 2020, a tripartite MoU was signed between the Serum Institute of India, Bangladesh-based pharmaceutical company Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and the Government of Bangladesh for procurement of the Oxford/Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Bharat Biotech plans to produce 10 types of vaccines including malaria and COVID-19 with a total investment of Rs. 300 crore (US$ 40.54 million) at its upcoming unit in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
  • In September 2020, Thiruvananthapuram-based Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology announced that it will collaborate with the Kerala government to set up a Rs. 260 crore (US$ 35.44 million) medical devices park in Thonnakkal (Thiruvanthapuram).
  • In September 2020, Aurobindo Pharma announced collaboration with BIRAC to develop the COVID-19 vaccine. The company is developing the vaccine through its wholly owned US subsidiary, Auro Vaccines.
  • In November 2019, Advent International, a private equity investor, acquired a majority interest in Bharat Serums and Vaccines Limited. This acquisition was aimed to strengthen and expand Bharat Serums offerings in India and global markets.
  • In September 2019, German chemical and pharma major, Bayer AG, completed the integration of Monsanto's India business to form Bayer CorpScience Ltd. as a part of the US$ 63 billion mega deal.
  • In September 2019, Biocon Ltd. acquired the Chennai-based research and development facility from Pfizer Healthcare India Ltd. through its subsidiary, Biocon Biologics. This acquisition was aimed to help Biocon accelerate its development of biosimilars from lab to pilot scale.

Government Initiatives


  • Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) established by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) is aimed at strengthening and empowering the emerging biotechnology enterprises to undertake strategic research and innovation.
  • In October 2020, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. announced partnership with BIRAC, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, for advisory support on clinical trials of Sputnik V vaccine in India.

Biotech Initiatives

National Biopharma Mission, ‘Innovate India’ 2017, a DBT programme worth US$ 250 million, aims to bring together industry and academia in order to promote entrepreneurship and indigenous manufacturing in biopharma.

Clinical Trials

  • The Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare introduced new Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, 2019, changing the regulatory landscape to approve new drugs and conduct clinical trials in the country.
  • The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) selected 12 institutes for the clinical trials of the country’s first indigenous COVID-19 vaccine.
  • In 2020, ICMR developed indigenous COVID-19 vaccine (BBV152 COVID) in partnership with Bharat Biotech International Limited.

Biotech Parks

  • Biotechnology Parks and Incubators are established across the country by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), under the Ministry of Science and Technology, to translate research into products and services by providing necessary infrastructure support.
  • These biotechnology parks offer facilities to scientists, and small & medium sized enterprises (SMEs) for technology incubation, technology demonstration and pilot plant studies to accelerate the commercial development of biotechnology.
  • The government, at present, supports nine biotechnology parks in various states with the bulk being in the southern region of the country.

Road Ahead

Indian biotechnology is built on entrepreneurship, innovation, developing domestic talent and demonstrating value-based care.

Given the long history of diseases in India, the country has accumulated years of experience and scientific knowledge to prevent and treat them. India is working to boost the biotechnology sector under the flagship programmes such as 'Make in India' and 'Start-up India'.

Increase in the number of biotech incubators will boost research and promote growth of start-ups; this is critical for the success of the Indian biotech industry.

References:  Department of Biotechnology, Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises, BIRAC, Global Bio-India

Note: Conversion rate used in December 2020, Rs. 1 = US$ 0.01357

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.


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