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In order to develop a world-class innovation hub for the global biopharma industry, India needs to do a better job of leveraging its unique capabilities in information technology, engineering, and clinical research, according to a new report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
The report, titled "Biopharma R&D: Moving the Needle in Innovation," says that although the Indian government has declared 2010 to 2020 the "Decade of Innovation," the country must encourage greater investment and activity in bioinformatics, applied research, and translational research to maximize opportunities for R&D in the life sciences. The report will be released at the annual USA-India BioPharma & Healthcare Summit today in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
"India can become a global innovation hub, but there are several challenges to fully realizing its potential, particularly around policy, infrastructure, and creating collaborative partnerships," said Kim Wagner, a BCG senior partner and coauthor of the report.
The report builds on BCG's ongoing work with the USA-India Chamber of Commerce (USAIC) and is based on in-depth research and interviews with more than 30 global R&D leaders.
Emerging markets will drive nearly 70 percent of the growth in the global biopharma industry through 2015, and India's contribution is key, the report notes. This presents a significant commercial opportunity for foreign and domestic biopharma companies, but R&D investments will need to be tailor-made for India on the basis of its local capabilities. The same is true for other emerging-market countries, including Brazil, Russia, and China.
"Traditional business models don't easily translate to these markets, and strategies need to be modified," said Wagner. "But while R&D investments in emerging markets can go hand in hand with the commercial opportunity, the prospects to drive innovation will depend on the particular advantages of each market."
The report highlights oncology as an area in which India can make major strides, given the country's unique patient pool, IT, and in-place clinical-research capabilities. In particular, the report identifies three opportunities in which India can play a role in driving global oncology R&D:
Building and Maintaining Unique Assets. India can help develop a vast cancer-specific genetic-information database through studies in genomics and proteomics. Once built, the database could be used to identify new biomarkers for personalized medicine, as well as better clinical-research models for more accurate R&D.
Creating Process Efficiency through Translational-Research Hubs. With faster patient-recruitment times, a large population of orphan diseases, and lower costs, biopharma can be faster in deriving proofs of concept and getting results in relevant drug R&D.
Driving Applied Research in Emerging Science. India can increase funding and infrastructure support for ongoing research in emerging nanotechnology-based applications in drug delivery and diagnostics.
"India offers several advantages in R&D, but it's behind," said Bart Janssens, a BCG partner and coauthor of the report. "The current $400 million clinical-trial market is considerably less than the forecast expectations of more than $1 billion." In fact, according to the report, China has overtaken India in terms of share of new trials, which rose from a 1:1 China-to-India ratio in 2008 to a 2:1 ratio in 2011.
"Implementing a vibrant clinical-research ecosystem will be critical for delivering biopharma innovation here," added Janssens. "But better collaboration on policy and improvement in current infrastructure gaps is essential to support the local innovation pipeline and ensure faster access to new drugs for Indian patients."
To receive a copy of the full report or arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Alexandra Corriveau at +1 212 446 3261 or .
About The Boston Consulting Group
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 77 offices in 42 countries.
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