Raghavendra Goud Vaggu has been the General Manager of Cytiva South Asia since 2019, when it was known as GE Healthcare Life Sciences. In this role, he leads the commercial operation and business development in South Asia which covers India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Prior to that, he took various leadership positions in sales, strategy, and commercial. He is an executive leader in bioindustry for more than 23 years, with full spectrum experience in research, engineering, and commercial operation. His career journey started as an application scientist in Promega, USA, post that he joined GE Healthcare in 2007 as Sales Manager.
India is ranked third in Asia and one of the world’s top 12 biotech destinations. Post-Covid, the Indian biotech industry is expected to grow significantly due to increased vaccine acceptance among the billion-plus population and, most importantly, increased awareness of health issues and vaccine benefits. When the pandemic hit India in 2020, the Indian biotech industry stepped up to the plate and worked tirelessly to find vaccines for Covid 19 and its deadly variants. This has fueled the industry’s expansion, which is expected to reach $150 billion by FY25. To achieve the goal of becoming world leaders in biotech solutions, the industry must pursue a sustainable growth strategy aided by technology.
The current scenario
Biotech is divided into five major segments: biopharmaceuticals, bioservices, bioagriculture, bioindustrial, and bioinformatics, all of which contribute to the Bioeconomy. India’s biotechnology industry currently has more than 3500 biotech start-ups and is expected to grow to 10,000 by 2024-25. Vaccines and recombinant therapeutics are currently driving India’s biotechnology industry growth. India accounts for less than 5% of the global market and aims to achieve a $ 150 billion bio-economy in the next five years compared to a global estimate of $725 billion by 2025. This will account for about 21% of the global market share.
Sustainable growth is the key
The world is facing a number of major environmental, economic, and social challenges that must be addressed properly if future generations are to live in a safe, healthy, and prosperous environment. The solutions we come up with will alter how we live and work, and if we make the right decisions, these changes will be for the better.
The bio-tech sector is already making a significant contribution to sustainable development, and it will continue to do so in the future: higher-quality, renewable raw materials will be produced in a sustainable manner, and food security and a healthy environment will be maintained.
Cytvia, a global life science company, has begun to remove unnecessary plastic packaging from its supply chain as part of its sustainable growth strategy, among other improvements. By streamlining shipments to customers, the company expects to save about 25 tonnes of plastic per year while also lowering its CO2 footprint. In addition, the company is working in Sweden on a water conservation project.
Biotechnology has revolutionized industrial and agricultural practices in recent years by increasing the quantity and quality of products. Furthermore, the number of commercial biotechnology products grows every year.
Global food security, improved nutrition and public health, cleaner and more efficient industrial processing and a significant contribution to the effort to mitigate climate change can all be achieved by developing all sectors of the bioeconomy together. Because they are all interdependent, the various sectors must be properly linked for maximum benefit. Not only will concerted action create strong individual sectors, but it will also be necessary to build strong and effective links in order to create a bioeconomy web. Because of this interconnectedness, all sectors must be equally strong; a single weak link could significantly reduce the web’s overall effectiveness and limit competitiveness.
Agriculture and other natural resources are central to the economies of many developing countries. As a result, biotechnology offers one-of-a-kind opportunities for long-term industrial development. The application of appropriate technology in processing and manufacturing will improve not only production efficiency and product quality, but also trade and international development cooperation.
Large biopharma corporations have recently sought partnerships with the local biopharmaceutical industry in developing economies in order to perform manufacturing in these countries through local contract manufacturing organisations (CMOs). This strategy is likely to help these countries develop a biosimilar industry as well as drug development services.
Scope of building technology for the medical industry with web 4.0
There has been a lot of talk about web 4.0 recently, as well as its future predictions. Augmented Reality, AI and Big Data-the main components of web 4.0- will undoubtedly play a key role in the next stage of web technologies. Web 4.0 services will be autonomous, proactive, content-exploring, self-learning, collaborative, and content-generating agents based on fully matured semantic and reasoning technologies, as well as artificial intelligence. They will support adaptive content presentation via an intelligent agent that will make use of the Web database. All these technologies will aid the biotech industry to grow further.
Currently, body sensors that monitor health parameters and provide essential information about the patient’s health are helping the healthcare and biotech industries collect patient data through emerging technologies. Clinical trials, for example, rely heavily on this data, which is collected throughout the procedure. The use of web 4.0 to automate the sensor data collection process could significantly improve the clinical trial’s chances of success.
The use of Big Data can also help to reduce the risk of medication errors. Disparities between patient data and medication prescriptions can be detected using software that thoroughly analyses patient records. This can help prevent a lot of problems that come from taking the wrong medications. Many startups have recognised the technology’s potential and have begun developing AI-based healthcare and biotech solutions.
Furthermore, according to some studies, AI can cut drug discovery time by four years and costs by 60% when compared to the industry average. Machine learning algorithms can assist biotech companies in significantly reducing the time it takes to develop a new medicine. Healthcare and biotech industries are already investing large sums of money to find AI solutions.
Initiatives by some brands
Cytiva and Brooks Life Sciences have teamed up to create a unified digital platform that can track cellular products and raw materials digitally throughout the cell therapy workflow, including the cryogenic cold chain. To enhance its technology portfolio, the company has also acquired GoSilico, whose simulation software is used to create digital twins of downstream processing. In comparison to traditional methods such as one factor at a time – which can take up to 13 weeks – or design of experiments – which can take up to four weeks – simulation can reveal how process parameters affect attributes in a fraction of the time. The end result is a scalable and reliable solution in less than a week, a reduction in experiment materials, and, most importantly, more confident decision-making.
There are numerous new opportunities emerging, ranging from evaluating potential study objectives to using predictive analytics in clinical trials to using data to create more efficient systems and innovative services that fully empower and deliver value to core stakeholders.
The digitization and sustainable growth of the healthcare and biotech industries open up new revenue and cost-cutting channels, such as on-demand healthcare and smartphone apps. New technologies are also transforming R&D and operations, paving the way for disruptive solutions that give patients more control over their health. Together, sustainable processes and the technologies of Web 4. will undoubtedly propel the Indian biotechnology industry to new heights.