In an exclusive interaction with the BioVoice News, India’s eminent scientist and former top health administrator, Dr N K Ganguly, shared his views on the growth achieved by the biotech industry, academia and criticism over research funding in India. Read the excerpts below:
How do you look at the progress made by the biotech industry in India so far? What do you consider its achievements and challenges?
Indian biotech industry has made remarkable progress. Among its various areas, the biosimilars in itself has emerged as a sector followed by the biotherapeutics and vaccines. Yet the biosimilars industry got stagnated at one time as we hadn’t gone to the third generation products or what were called difficult products.
One of the breakthroughs came when Genova Phamacueticals made the TNK-tPA which was global product and to make its replication, one required special process where Tenecteplase which is an enzyme was used as a thrombolytic drug. That created a landmark product. Then there was quality erythropoetin product, Vintor from the company. India has a major share of this in the overall market.
The second major product was from our current Director General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (DG-CSIR), Girish Sahney who created India’s first idigenous clot buster drug that was very specifc or highly targeted. It was later branded by the various companies under their brand names such as STPase by Cadila Pharmaceuticals and recombinant streptokinase by Shasun Drugs etc. His team has also developed a novel life-saver thrombolytic drug (Clot-specific streptokinase), India’s first bio-therapeutic molecule.
“There are many biotech intervenions that look highly promising for healthcare. While there were many hurdles earlier, few of our products are breaking these barriers”