Latest Business Environment Trends, Innovations,Concepts in the Biotech sector of Asia
Dr. K Madan Gopal , Senior Consultant (Health) at NITI Aayog
Dr. Madan is a Health professional with MBBS, MD qualification and has been working on issues related to Health Systems Reforms and Strengthening in India for more than 28 years.
"Today, science fiction is the most important artistic genre. It shapes the understanding of the public on things like artificial intelligence and biotechnology, which are likely to change our lives and society more than anything else in the coming decades." - Yuval Noah Harari Today, biotechnology is one of the most critical technology sectors in a new wave of a knowledge-based economy. It is characterized by innovation and a breakneck pace of development. It is a cost-effective option for identifying new products and can provide personalized solutions. Biotechnology has a wide range of uses in the food sector, including the production of genetically modified organisms, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, bioremediation, forestry, and agriculture. Asia is amidst rapid economic growth and offers exciting research opportunities, particularly biotechnology. In the initial growth phase of two decades, advanced biotechnology research was centered primarily in the U.S. and Europe through public health funding. But with the booming Asian economy, many researchers are now returning to Asia, bringing their expertise. They are establishing biotech forces in academia in partnership with industry and making a network of connections between researchers in Asia and worldwide.
Asia is well known for its markets' dynamic nature, rapid growth, and contribution to the global economy. Home to more than 60% of the worldwide population, the Asia region presents an immense commercial opportunity for biopharma, medical devices, and healthcare companies to deliver personalized value-based care. The Asia Pacific biotechnology market had total revenues of $100.4bn in 2019 representing a compound annual growth rate(CAGR) of 5.3% between 2015 and 2019. The Asia Pacific is the third largest bio-pharmaceutics market globally due to the aging population and the impending expiry of patented drugs. Leading the growth in biotechnology in Asia are China, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore.
The unique research methods of different countries are primarily centered on three key areas, bio manufacturing of material for various industries, diagnostic technologies, and synthetic biology. The rapid growth in biotechnology has led to the emergence of newer technologies that have the potential to impact multiple aspects of people's lives. Gene therapy, gene editing, and nanotechnology are being used to solve various difficulties, including treating genetic disorders and eradicating tropical illnesses like malaria. Targeted value-based medicine for cancer treatment is a particular focus and has much market potential. For instance, despite the overall slow growth of the overall pharmaceutical market, in Japan, the oncology biotech market has grown by 5% in the last five years.
Logistics sector too got adversely impacted, particularly the asset-heavy warehousing and transportation service providers
Dr. K Madan Gopal , Senior Consultant (Health) at NITI Aayog
Rapid use of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Analytics has also accelerated the growth of research and development by fast-tracking clinical research & gathering real-world evidence, and decreasing the overall cost of innovation. Interest in machine learning for healthcare has increased rapidly over the last ten years. Though the academic discipline of machine learning has existed since the mid-twentieth century, improved computing resources, data availability, novel methods, and increasingly diverse technical talent have accelerated the application of ML to biotechnology. For instance, post-COVID, decentralized clinical trials with solutions like remote monitoring and remote source data verification have increased the efficiency of clinical trials.
India has an emerging biotechnology industry aided by a large, highly educated community of scientists, researchers, and government and private sector-led initiatives. In 1986, India became the first country to set up a department solely dedicated to biotechnology. Since then, India has aspired to become a leader in biotech by focusing on bio-innovation. Due to low costs, skilled workers, and patent reforms, the number of biotech companies in India grew from 300 in 1950 to around 734 in 2011. India's biotechnology industry is built on the four core beliefs of entrepreneurship, innovation, development of local talent, and demonstration of high value-based care. India's Department of Biotechnology has set up an ambitious target of making India's biotech industry a $100billion industry by 2025. Key factors fuelling India's growth in biotechnology are its talent pool, academic-industry collaborations, and established IT-enabled infrastructure. The government also found Biotech science clusters to create bio-manufacturing hubs by establishing incubators and technology transfer centers. The biotechnology sector will be one of the critical drivers for contributing to India's USD 5 Trillion economy target by 2024.
Any new technology's development necessitates collaboration between industry and academia., each with different expertise; biotech is no exception. The initiative will have to define and put forth the needs of society, and academia will have to develop new technologies to meet those demands. Moreover, legal regulations and protection of intellectual property rights in patents are also crucial for its development. Due to intensified research on the human genome in the 1990s, biotech patent publications increased by 16 times between 1980 and 2010. Recently, a more restrictive patent criterion in genetic inventions has led to a drop-in magazine.
Biotechnology still has significant untapped potential and can address pressing global challenges like climate change and sustainable growth and development and treating emerging and non-communicable diseases. For instance, bio-based production of chemicals and materials in a sustainable way has attracted much attention, and some traditional petrochemical companies have started to commercialize bio-based chemical production. Synthetic biology can also play an essential role in achieving a circular economy for a more sustainable future. The governments and authorities need to work out policies that bring economic prosperity for all and guide our consumption and production processes to respect the ecological boundaries of our planet.