Indian Biotech Industry


Partnering and Investment Opportunities

"IT stands for India tomorrow & BT stans for Bharat Tomorrow."

Atal Behari Vajpayee, Prime Minister of India


After leading the I.T bandwagon India has shifted its efforts to biotechnology. The alignment of a vast pool of scientific talent, a world class information-technology industry, and a vibrant generic pharmaceutical sector position India to emerge as a significant spot on the global biotech map.


Even though in the global biotech market, Indian share is presently just about 2% , the future seems very bright for the country. Biotechnology is a fast emerging sector in India. The consumption of biotech products in India was $1789 mn during 1999, which is expected to grow up to the tune of $ 4270 mn by the end of year 2010 . 

India's rich human capital is believed to be the strongest asset for this knowledge-based industry having a large English speaking skill base, 3 million graduates, 700,000 postgraduates & 1500 PhDs qualified in biosciences and engineering. It is estimated that 10% of researchers and 15% of scientists in Pharma/ Biotech R&D in USA are of Indian origin. 

Biotech industry in India at present is at the threshold of tremendous growth. For example, in the human and animal products segment of the industry alone, the vaccines market alone is valued at US$ 230 million and is growing at 20 per cent. The success of firms like Shanta Biotech and Bharat Biotech emphasise the fact. India's first genetically engineered vaccine, Shanta Biotech's Shanvac against Hepatitis B, costs $4, less than half the price of similar vaccines marketed by multinational companies. 


The investment opportunities in India are very promising. Fresh investments of 145 mn hold the potential of creating a turnover of Rs. 200 mn. in the next 5 to 7 years, which could then further be utilized to innovate new products for the global biotech market.


India has achieved an amazing lot in a relatively short time.Some of the milestones for the Indian biotech are highlighted below.


Milestones ~ the first decade

1978 - Country's first biotech company BIOCON ~ for industrial enzymes

1981 - Center for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB) ~ for DNA & r-DNA based research

1984- Institute for Microbial Technology, (IMTECH) ~ for R&D in microbial bio-processing

1986 -Department of Biotechnology (DBT), set up by Government of India of I ~ for promoting modern biology and biotechnology at academic and industry levels 

1987 -National Institute of Immunology (NII) set up by DBT~ for immunology research

1989 -Bangalore Genei starts operations to produce restriction enzymes & other tools for DNA based R&D 

Milestones ~ the second decade

1991 -National Center for Biological sciences (NCBS) ~ to pursue R&D molecular biology

1994 -Syngene International, country's first CRC (promoted by Biocon) to offer R&D services in drug discovery based modern biology.

1997 -Center for Biochemical Technology (CBT) to focus on Bioinformatics and Genomics

1997-Shantha Biotech launches India's first recombinant product, Hep B vaccine

1998 -Monsanto research establishes an R&D center at IISc for plant genomics.

1998 -DBT approves Mahyco-Monsanto to conduct Bt cotton trials.

Milestones ~ the third decade

2000 -4 states Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu announce Biotech initiatives 

2000 -Country's first Bionformatics company Strand Genomics formed by four IISc professors

2000 -GENOMED country's first JV between Institute (CBT) & Industry (Nicholas Piramal) to pursue pharmaco-genomics.

2001 -NCBS scientist sets up Avesthagen a plant genomics company. 

2001 -GEAC approves Wockhardt's EPO.

2001 -NIH approves NCBS and Reliance Life Sciences as 2 out of 10 labs worldwide, for stem cell lines

2001 -Drug Authority implements GCP guidelines for clinical trials.

2001 -Millennium biotech policy, the first state level Biotech policy, announced by Government of Karnataka

2002 -Institute of Bioinformatics & Applied Biotechnology a jointly funded initiative between Government of Karnataka & ICICI commences academic program. 

2002 -GEAC approves Bt cotton for commercial planting. 

2002 -GEAC approves Shantha Biotech's Inteferon Alpha 2b.

2002 -Institute of Bioinformatics & Applied Biotechnology a jointly funded initiative between Government of Karnataka & ICICI commences academic program.

2002 -GEAC approves Bt cotton for commercial planting. 

2002 -GEAC approves Shantha Biotech's Inteferon Alpha 2b.



The Indian Government had the foresight to invest in creation of infrastructure for biotechnology way back in 1985 by setting up a dedicated Central Department for Biotechnology, when the biotech wave was at best, just a ripple. 


The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) is the nodal agency for policy, promotion of R&D, international cooperation and manufacturing activities. In mid eighties, DBT focused on generating trained manpower & infrastructure development. The current focus is on genomics, proteomics, transgenics, stem cell research and product development. Having invested US$ 500 million towards R&D in national laboratories and Centers of Excellence since it inception in 1986, several products in agriculture, environmental and health areas are already in the market.


The government on its part has been increasing the outlays for biotechnology over the past decade. The budgetary allocations have gone up by a tremendous amount from just 404 million in 1987-88 to 1138 million in 1997-98 and to almost double the amount of a whopping 2356 million in 2002-03.

The center is also planning to introduce additional venture capital funds in line with its technology development fund (TDF) to promote small and medium biotech enterprises. 


In addition to DBT, several other agencies in India also fund biotech research, although the others are not dedicated to funding only biotech research. Budgetary allocations for all these have gone up in the last decade (see table). 



These figures show that the Government of India is committed to biotechnology as a vital sector for India's future. A decent regulatory framework is in place to approve GM crops and r-DNA products for human health. A proactive government policy allows stem cell research in the country while having in place sound ethical guidelines. The Government is also favorably inclined to adopt product patent regime. Indian Patents (Second Amendment) Bill was recently cleared by the Parliament. The key amendments in Patents Bill include 20-year patent term, emergency provisions and commencement of R&D immediately after filing of patents. Bill was in line with making country's patent law compatible with the provisions of WTO and TRIPS. While key aspects and relevant provisions of TRIPS, Paris Convention and Doha declarations have been taken on board, available flexibilities are made use of to the maximum extent to safeguard national security and protect varied interests of the nation including public health. 


In addition to the Central Government initiatives, several states have taken out their state specific biotech policies to boost the biotechnology sector in their respective states. Some of these are as follows:


Andhra Pradesh


Government of Andhra Pradesh, in collaboration with the ICICI Limited, has set up a knowledge Park near Hyderabad. Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh has emerged as the destination of first choice for corporate and entrepreneurs desiring to enter the exciting world of Bio-tech. Hub of the Genome Valley is being developed an area covering 600 sq. kms. 


Tamil Nadu


The Government of Tamil Nadu is facilitating in the setting up of the biotechnology enterprise zones (biovalleys) along the lines of Silicon Valley to exploit the bio resources of the state. Four biotech parks, a bioinformatics and genome center will be established, each of which would be leveraging the bioresources of the agro-ecological zones of Tamil Nadu. These five entities will be the hub of the biotechnology enterprise zones. 




The State has an excellent intellectual infrastructure. Through nearly 1000 institutions, it produces around 163,000 trained technical personnel each year. Some of the best Centers of excellence in India are present in Maharashtra. The government is also promoting biotech parks, R&D centers, and pilot plant facilities for underway contract research by putting equity stakes in such projects.




The Karnataka government has announced a biotech policy to promote this sector and is setting up an institute for bioinformatics in Banglore. In addition to this it is also creating a biotechnology fund which will have inflows from the biotech companies. This could be used for incubation of new projects and promotion of the sector in the state.

Th Karnataka government is putting in Rs. 50 million and an equal amount is being brought by ICICI to develop the institute if bioinformatics in Banglore. Karnataka has planned to launch India's first state sponsored biotechnology venture capital fund to boost their initiatives.

Three 'biotech parks' are emerging in the state , namely 'university of Agricultural Sciences, Banglore; 'Institute of Agri-biotech in Dharwad ; and Institute of Biotechnology in Karwar.


Himachal Pradesh


Himachal Pradesh has prepared a blue print for promotion of biotechnology industries in the state. This includes setting up of biotechnology parks, conservation and exploitation of bioresources, intensification of R&D, and promoting biotechnology entrepreneurship through tax concessions and relaxed labor laws. It is also proposed to provide research based support to the private companies in form of providing for instance, access to a data base of bioresources which is being developed along with separate entries of endangered medicinal plants. 



Medical Biotech segment


The Indian pharmaceutical market is growing exponentially. Its value in 1997 was a US $ 3 bn, and is expected to rise to US $9 bn by the year 2005.

According to the Mckinsey study Indian Pharma industry is poised to grow to an innovation-led US $ 25 bn industry by 2010 with a market capitalization of almost US $ 150 bn from the current US $ 5 bn generic based drug industry.Vaccine market in 2001 was US $ 100 mn growing at 20%. Diagnostic market was US $ 200 mn in 2001.Biotherapeutics and diagnostics of which recombinant Hep B dominate medical biotech segment vaccine is the major product. Others include GCSF, EPO & Interferon Alpha 2b. The year 2003 is expected to see the launch of Human Insulin, Streptokinase, other vaccines and diagnostics.


The Indian government has granted marketing licenses for about 25 recombinant protein therapeutics. Some of the recombinant products already approved by the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) are:


Interferon alpha

Interferon gamma




Hepatitis B vaccine





Traditionally India has been a very strong player in conventional generics due to established track record of process engineering skills and capability to set up comparable manufacturing units at a fraction of the capital cost utilised overseas.

Companies such as Shantha biotech, which started with just one product, are now effectively using this experience to launch other products like plasminogen activators, interferons, sophisticated vaccines etc. Following the suit of globalization many multinationals like Monsanto, Pfizer, Unilever, Dupont, Bayer, have set up their businesses in India. Eli Lilly- Ranbaxy 50:50 joint venture in India has been marketing a range of biotech products such as Humalog and Huminsulin for diabetes. Hoechst Roussel Vet has developed a cow abortion IBH vaccine in India. Chiron- Boehringer is setting up a vaccine venture in India.

Agri Biotech Segment 


India being the second largest food producer after china offers a huge market for biotechnology products, especially agribiotech products. This, combined with excellent scientific infrastructure in agriculture, rich bio-diversity and skilled and low cost human-power, make India a force to reckon with. Transgenics of rice,brassica, moonbean, pigeonpea, cotton, tomato and some vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower etc. will complete field assessment and some of them would be ready for large scale production by 2005. More protein rich wheat with a higher lysine content will be introduced in the farmer's field by 2003-2005.Nutraceuticals market stands out to INR 25000-30,000 mn (US $ 532-638 mn) presently. (Ernst and young report). Genetically engineered seed market was worth an estimated $250 million from a total seed market worth US $ 500 million in 2001. Marine resource development and aqua culture also hold a great potential with India having more than 8000 kilometers of coastline including Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshwadeep. 

There is presence of global companies in this sector too. US-based Hicks Muse's proposal to take up 75% percent equity in India Seed Holding through its Mauritius subsidiary was cleared by the government. The company will bring forth foreign investment worth 35 million for production and marketing of hybrid and improved variety of seeds. The Indian partner in this venture is Mahindra Hybrid Seeds, Besides this Bayer functions in India through acquiring New Delhi based ProAgro group companies.

Industrial Biotech Segment 


This segment is expected to show significant growth commensurate with the growth of the Biotech sector. Products include enzymes, bio-instrumentation and bioprocess equipment

Services segment


An increasing number of large pharmaceutical companies are finding it difficult to conduct the entire drug discovery process-in-house. India on the other hand provides a cheaper infrastructure. For example a biotech based therapeutic product costs$250 million and 10-15 years to reach the market. In India, it is estimated to cost $250 million. This has given rise to contract research organizations specialising in dug discovery services. Contract Research services are largely focused on molecular biology, bioinformatics, genomics & stem cell research. Clinical research and trials are expected to grow exponentially over the next 5 years.


Scores of large IT companies have already established bioinformatics units and Banglore is bristling with bioinformatics startups. There are tremendous opportunities in India for data-mining, gene annotation, and the development of software interfaces. These require enormous computing power for which India has established its supremacy. 



Over the last decade the biotech industry in India has grown at a rapid pace to achieve a sizeable scale with respect to turnover (see figure). 


There are about 170 biotech-based companies in India. Out of these, 60 are in the modern biotech sector. Companies in the modern biotech sector were selected and a questionnaire circulated to them to get data about investment in biotechnology, scientific and other manpower, funding and other details. The following picture has emerged from the analysis of the data submitted by 52 companies.

Biofinancial Landscape is improving


The total Project investment by the companies we analyzed was over 100 m dollars in the last decade The companies have received over 1.5 mn of VC Funding from 1999-2001.The total Revenues have been over 1500 mn.


Biotechnology is a dynamic sector 

Biotech is a dynamic and rapidly growing sector of the Indian economy. Out of 52 companies 32 alone were incorporated after 1998.

Interestingly, most of the new companies are going into the service sector, including contract 


research and bioinformatics. As many as 11 companies out of the 19 new companies incorporated after 1998 were in the service sector.

Biohuman resources


Due the increase in the number of biotechnology companies the demand for scientific manpower has increased tremendously. The analysis we conducted depicted that 52 companies employ around 5000 people, out of which the majority is employed in R&D and Production. 


Agri-biotech is a large sector 


A sectoral break-up of the biotech market in India is presented in the figure below. The largest percentage of the biotech companies in India operate in the agricultural domain. As many as 24% of the companies surveyed were in the agri-biotech area. More than 16% are in the human health area, including biodiagonstics and vaccines. 

The agri-biotech industry experienced a boost in the years 94-97 when as many as 12 out of 52 companies were incorporated, thereafter 8 companies have been incorporated.


It will be seen from the above that the health care products will dominate the scene and may account for about 40% of the market by 2010. Contribution of biotechnology in agriculture may also rise to nearly 33.7% from its share of 29.8% in 1999. Contract research and bioinformatics are upcoming areas too accounting for 26% of the companies in the biotech sector.

Out of the companies we surveyed 11 out of 52 companies were established in this segment after 1998. This shows that the trend of the indian companies is towards that in the bioservices sector.

The global bioinformatics industry clocked an estimated turnover of $ 2 billion last year and this figure is expected to grow to $60 billion by 2005. Bioinformatics probably represents the biggest opportunity for the IT industry since Y2K and If industry and government work together, experts feel it is possible to for Indian industry to achieve a 5% global market share.


Funding for the biotech sector


Venture capital funding of about Rs. 3000 million has been estimated for the biotech sector (Source: RIS). Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and Indian Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI) have committed about 35% each



Banks still remain the major financing source for biotechnology with venture capital accounting for less than 20% of funding in our survey.




Trained manpower and knowledge base

Good network of research laboratories

Rich Biodiversity

Well developed base industries (e.g.: pharmaceuticals, seeds)

Access to intellectual resources of NRIs in this area.

Extensive clinical trials and research ~ access to vast & diverse disease populations

Bio-diversity ~ India's human gene pools offer an exciting opportunity for genomic 



Missing link between research and commercialisation.

Lack of venture capital

Relatively low R&D expenditure by industry

Image of Indian industry -doubts about ability of Indian products to meet international standards of quality


Large market

Export potential

Base for contract research for international companies due to rising costs of R&D abroad.

Large number of patients covering wider range of diseases


Danger of anti-biotech propaganda gaining ground

IPR policies



Research institutes form the backbone of the biotech industry. India realising this has already taken a big leap forward by establishing a number of institutes which carry on a most advanced research programme. Major research in India so far is carried out at government funded research institutes like - Indian Council of Agricultural Research., Indian Council of Medical Research, Council of scientific & Industrial Research, Department of Biotechnology [under the Ministry of Science & Technology.].

With the research carried on in the above institutions there have been major achievements in basic biosciences in the last decade or so in India, where we have expertise in practically all areas of modern biology. Breakthroughs include studies on the three dimensional structure of a novel amino acid, a long protein of mosquito (university of Poona), and a demonstration of the potential of reconstituted Sendai viral envelops containing only the F protein of the virus , as an efficient and site-specific vehicle for the delivery of reporter genes into hepatocytes.

In the agricultural and allied areas we have achieved the cloning and sequencing of atleast six genes, developed regeneration protocols for citrus, coffee, mangrove species, and new types of biofertilizers and biopesticides formulations, including mycorrhizal fertilizers. 

An impetus has been given to the plant tissue culture industry after the successful tissue culture pilot plants at TERI in NEW DELHI and the other at NCL in PUNE have started functioning as micropropogation technology parks.

Department of Biotechnology has already invested Rs. 1000 crore in this field and launched a five-year , $ 20 million Indian Genome Initiative to study and map the genetic variations in the people of India.

Institutions being set up for Genome research are -Plant Genomics Center, New Delhi, Center for Human Genetics, Bangalore. Ministry of health with assistance from Japan and US has established institute for research, manufacturing and clinical trials - National Institute of Biologicals, at New Delhi.

Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) Established in 1977 solely for the advancement of biotechnology, it has spawned a number of industry collaborations and technology spin-offs .It worked with private institutions to produce India?s first recombinant DNA vaccine for Hepatitis B.

National Facility for Macromolecular Crystallography, BARC, Mumbai: The facility was created jointly by the Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Biotechnology. Some of the specific uses were: Synthesis of primers required for cloning and site directed mutagenesis of human carbonic anhydrase using a gene assembler. The FPLC system is routinely used for purification of mutants of recombinant carbonic anhydrase, HIV-I protease and Saponin.

National Facility for High Field NMR, TIFR, Mumbai: A number of contemporary research in the area of biological NMR are pursued by the use of multidimensional NMR techniques. These include : Structure and Dynamics of proteins, Nucleic acids, Nucleic acid - protein interaction, Conformation of bioactive peptides membrane architecture etc.

Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow: This facility is maintaining several different strains of some species of rodents. The breeding unit of this facility at present in maintaining a large number of animals, and every year supplies more than 50,000 animals within and outside the institute for use in various projects.

National Institute Of Immunology, New Delhi The institute has so far developed, validated and technology transferred to the industry, the following diagnostic kits:  two kits for pregnancy, one each for typhoid, hepatitis B, amoebic liver abscess and  intestinal amoebiasis. The Institute has developed an ELISA test to detect the  presence of HIV- 1 and HIV-2 Antibodies in serum with high specificity to the local strains.

National Brain Research Center, New Delhi -The Department established a dedicated center for Brain Research, named  as National Brain Research Center (NBRC) on the 14th November, 1997. This center is dedicated to provide infrastructure facilities and a coordinated multidisciplinary team to work at the frontiers of neuroscience research and network the existing groups and whenever required create satellite units to catalyze the overall growth of this discipline in the country .

Some of the private organizations, which engage in biotechnology R&D are:


Dr. Reddy's Lab primarily a strong player in chemical research is moving in the biotech research. It is concentrating on therapeutic proteins made through recombinant DNA technology. It has already staked about Rs. 50 crores in this field and is expected to bring out the country?s third biotech vaccine- a cancer vaccine GCSF. Dr. Reddy's offer diagnostic proteins for HIV infection, therapeutic proteins for vaccines, cytokines and anti-virals.

Biocon Ltd. the first and largest biotech company in India, started in 1978 formulating industrial enzymes provided by an Irish company.  Biocon retains its roots in the world markets for food and industrial enzymes. It also has turned its fermentation technology to the manufacture of drugs, developing a pipeline of statins and winning U.S. FDA approval this year to market generic lovastatin for cholesterol reduction. Biocon also has created contract drug discovery, clinical trials, genomics and chemistry research units and sister companies. Biocon's Syngene unit has 150 scientists working on drug discovery, chemical synthesis, molecular biology.

J Mitra & Co - currently manufacturing diagnostic test kits like HIV, HCV ( Hepatitis C ), HBV ( Hepatitis B ) etc.  For these Products J Mitra is currently the market leader in India.  They are evaluated by W.H.O., Geneva with excellent credentials, and are being exported to forty different countries.

Quintiles Transnational Corp. is the world's largest Contract Pharmaceutical Organisation. It is a market leader in providing full-service contract research, sales, marketing, healthcare policy consulting and health information management services to the global pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical devices and healthcare industries. Quintiles Spectral (India) Ltd. (QSL), a subsidiary of Quintiles Transnational Corp. offers clinical trials management services to Indian and multinational pharmaceutical and biotech organisations. In India, Quintiles has identified and developed therapeutic specialization in various areas.

Opportunia is a one-stop platform where entrepreneurs and emerging fast growth companies (doing business in India or with India), get end-to-end support and solutions for all points in the life cycle of it?s business - seeding, growth, diversification, doing IPO?s and mergers and acquisitions. Currently, has an excellent database of commercialisable technologies, and leading technical experts, in a wide range of specialised fields in biotechnology, to give customised advice and services.

Jubilant Organosys is a part of Rs 1000 crore Jubilant Corp. The science active quality products are relies upon by global customers in more than 50 countries. The other leading company of the organization is Jubilant Biosys (P) Ltd that is a genomics service provider in the area of bioinformatics and cheminoinformatics located in Bangalore.

The Thapar Grouphas evolved from a small coal agency to India's third largest corporate entity with significant presence in International business environment. The Thapar Group has established manufacturing facilities in Africa & industries in the South East Asia, taken up & completed engineering contracts in the Middle East, provided full fledged technical consultancy for one of the largest joint sector pulp mills in Thailand. The groups major activities are paper, Engineering Electronics, Textiles Chemicals, Electricals & Electronics ,Man-made Fibres, Leather, Agri Businesses  and Biotechnology

ICICI too has jumped into the fray and decided to pump in funds to promote genome research in India. This is a welcome break for Indian agriculture and the pharmaceutical industry.

Cipla has invested about Rs. 100mn in its biotech ventures with smaller companies overseas. Its focus research areas will be hepatitis and tropical diseases like malaria.

Strand Genomics is a biosciences knowledge management company with a serious commitment to develop innovative algorithms and solutions in the area of Bioinformatics. Strand's vision is to accelerate the drug discovery process by developing a suite of products for genomics, proteomics and in silico biologyStrand Genomics is supported by a world class group of computer scientists with complementary skills in Combinatorial Algorithms, Stringology, Complex Systems Modeling, Machine Learning, Pattern Recognition, Clustering Techniques, Graphics and Visualization, Database Management Systems and Internet Technologies.

INTAS has become one of the leading pharmaceuticals groups in India since 1976 With a strong Formulation Development Facility, several innovative formulation have been developed for the first time in India which include Nilol (film coated tablets of Nifedipine Sustained Release 20mg + Atenolol 50mg), Zolax-SR(Sustained Release tablets of Alprazolam 1.5mg), Ciza-MPS (The latest prokinetic cisapride + Simethicone), Zen Retard (Controlled Release formulation of Carbamazepine) and Nimotas-CD (Nimesulide tablets in Chewable + Dispersible form).Intas spends approximately 4% of its turnover on Research & Development. Significant research is carried out in the field of novel drug delivery system. In the area of Bulk Drugs synthesis, Intas is developing a new process to synthesise carbamazepine and has already filed for process patent. Bioavailability and Bio-equivalence studies for formulations are carried out at our in-house biostudy center. 

Advanced Biochemical Limited (ABL), a Thane-based biotechnology major has tied up with Pacific Corporation, South Korea, to set up a plant near Nasik to manufacture genetically engineered industrial enzymes making it the first such tie-up in cutting-edge biotechnology. The Rs 1bn ABL is one of the few biotechnology companies in the country, which produces industrial grade enzymes while Pacific Corporation is the biggest producer of enzymes in the Asian region. The plant is expected to achieve full capacity soon, will meet the enzyme requirements of industries in northern and western India. 

Zydus Cadila is another Indian player, which has decided to invest in genome technology. The company plans to invest as much as 7.5% of its turnover on R&D and tie up with other R&D institutions internationally. Cadla is already associated with CDRI, Lucknow.

Wockhardt has made forays into this segment; the company has tied up with Rhein Biotech. It spent $7.5 million on biotech research and in April it launched Erythropoietin.

East India Pharmaceuticals has tied up with US based Cleveland Clinic Foundation for research in biotechnology and molecular biology. As a first step towards this, the company has set up a plan to upgrade and modernize its plant and machinery with an investment of over Rs. 80mn.

DSQ biotech is making a large investment in research facilities in the area of agri-biotechnology and related research. The company has invested Rs400mn from the Rs2250mn the group raised .through private placements. By 2002, DSQ hopes to have 400 people working for bioinformatics division.

Biological E is another biotechnology company that has been in the market for some time. Incorporated in 1963, the company has a 63 per cent market share in the vaccines business. Biological E has a very strong research base and is scouting around for funds to expand its activities.

Monsanto has an association with MAHYCO, through which it is testing the cotton-Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) seeds, the boll-worm resistant seed, and expected to hit the market in two years. Monsanto is one of the best bets in the biotechnology segment.

Bayer- In a largest deal in this sector, the multinational Bayer has acquired Proagro group of companies.  The Rs. 90 Crs Proagro group has  Proagro Seed Co., India. and  Proagro-PGS India, India in its fold.  This is a major player in agri-biotechnology and hybrid seeds business with one of largest and most advanced research center in India.

Nicholas Piramal - Company is entering in the field of bioinformatics and genomics. Its genomics project is in alliance with Center for Biochemical Technology [named GenMed] and will focus on disease target in area of cardiovascular, diabetes and cancer.    

Panacea biotech - it is pharmaceutical company also engaged in the Pharma-biotechnology research, wherein it has products like vaccine for Oral polio and Hepatitis B. Company is also having WHO certified vaccine plant for supplies to UNICEF. Company has joint venture with Heber biotech S.A. Cuba, for recombinant Hepatitis B vaccine and Erythropoetin. Company is having 720 million doses capacity.

Ranbaxy Lab. - Company plans to use biotechnology in drug development and started bioinformatics facilities for molecule modeling and drug designing. It has tied up with CBT for pharmaco genomics research to upgrade its drug discovery capabilities. It is also joining hand with Dept. of Biotechnology for medical diagnostics. [Also looking for acquisitions in biotech]

Serum Institute - Pune based WHO Certified Biopharma Company engaged in the production of vaccines for - DPT, MMR, MR, etc. Company has recently got 200 Crs order for vaccine from UNICEF.It is setting up a 100% EOU and expecting turnover of 300 Crs. It has recently acquired TVL a Hyderabad based company having technology to make Hepatitis B, to produce this vaccine also from its new EOU.  

Bio Merieux India - Company [a subsidiary of French medical diagnostic company Bio Merieux], is planning to introduce a new diagnostic system for detection of HIV kit is based on PCR technology, this test is based on detection of antigen as against detection of antibodies. So it detects the disease faster then other kits.