- India’s year 2017 in life sciences innovation:
- New heights in pharmaceutical industry:
- Breakthrough in Cancer research:
- Cure of Friedreich’s ataxia:
- New discoveries at Biocon:
India and the future of life sciences innovation
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GS (M) Paper-3: “Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.”
India’s year 2017 in life sciences innovation:
- The Indian scientific community has set new benchmarks in scientific excellence and created a powerful and formidable brand for India in 2017.
- Below mentioned developments endorse the strength of our country’s science and the manufacturing capability to develop world-class biosimilars that conform to best-in-class global quality standards.
New heights in pharmaceutical industry:
- Not content with making generic versions of innovator products, several Indian pharma companies are themselves turning to innovation.
- The Indian pharmaceutical industry is a world leader in bringing generic drugs to the market in a cost-effective way.
- Additionally, many Western pharmaceutical companies have established small-molecule development and manufacturing in India.
- More recently, Indian pharma companies have demonstrated the capability to develop biosimilars for global healthcare markets. These activities are highly valuable, providing essential and established medicines at more affordable prices to people around the world.
- Earlier this year, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals got the US FDA’s nod to initiate human trials on one of their experimental antibody drugs to treat multiple myeloma.
- Sun Pharmaceutical, too, made progress on the development of a novel psoriasis drug.
Breakthrough in Cancer research:
- Close collaboration between the scientific teams of some private companies led to breakthrough research in cancer detection. It resulted in Strand Life Sciences becoming one of the earliest companies to introduce the revolutionary liquid biopsy technology in India, which allows cancer diagnosis through a blood test.
- Indian scientists have also devised a unique method of early cancer detection using Artificial Intelligence (AI). Researchers from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata, and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, have developed an AI-based algorithm that uses light scattered from tissues to differentiate normal and precancerous tissues with high speed and great accuracy.
Cure of Friedreich’s ataxia:
- Scientists from the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) played a key role in the discovery of a potential cure for Friedreich’s ataxia, a genetic disease that damages the nervous system and impedes normal movement in patients. If successful, this novel molecule could help reverse this neurodegenerative disease that so far has no cure.
New discoveries at Biocon:
- India’s launched first novel biologic drug for head & neck cancer, Nimotuzumab, in 2006, followed by the introduction of a novel biologic therapy for psoriasis, Itolizumab, in 2013, to focus on differentiated therapies with a view to make a difference to patient lives.
- The US FDA approved a biosimilar antibody drug, Trastuzumab, co-developed by Biocon and Mylan, to treat aggressive forms of breast and gastric cancers. It marked a major milestone for India as well Biocon, as it became the first company from India to secure a biosimilar approval in the US.
- This approval not only establishes Biocon as a credible biologics player from India, it puts it in an exclusive league of global biosimilar players.
- It also launched KRABEVA (Bevacizumab), a key biosimilar antibody drug for the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer and other types of lung, kidney, cervical, ovarian and brain cancers, in India.
- The year 2017 concluded on a joyful note with a landmark achievement that demonstrated our advanced R&D capabilities.
- These innovations didn’t happen in isolation, but emerged from collaborative networks.
- Today, innovation occurs in a global village, not in a single country. With so much to offer the life sciences, India is poised to become a dominant player.