According to the India Bioeconomy Report (IBER 2022) released by the Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE), most of India’s biotech start-ups are less than three years old. The report found that over 1,900 biotech start-ups (36%) are three to five years old, while over 730 (14%) are over five years old.
Several biotech start-ups started operations between 2015 and 2018, with over 1,500 (29%) between two to three years old and over 1,100 (21%) less than a year old. The country’s biotech sector, valued at $70.2 bn in 2020, is expected to reach $150 billion by 2025, with a CAGR of 16.4%.
The pandemic gave this sector a massive fillip. Over 1,128 new start-up registrations were recorded in 2021. Many of these developed various medical and healthcare-oriented products, including testing kits, PPE kits, transport mediums and sequencing services. This took the collective number of biotech start-ups to 5,365 by the 2021-end, up from 4,237 from the previous calendar year.
With 145 new registrations, Maharashtra led the state-wise registrations of biotech start-ups in 2021. It is also home to 966 such entities, the largest in India.
Telangana followed with 100 registrations in 2021, Karnataka with 95, Uttar Pradesh with 93 and Delhi-NCR with 90 closely behind. Karnataka is home to 697 biotech start-ups, Delhi-NCR has 590, and Telangana has 563.
Of the new start-ups registered in 2021, 444 are involved in bio-manufacturing, 402 in bio-services, 152 in biotech trading, 90 in biotech machinery and equipment and 40 in bio-agriculture and allied areas. The Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) supports around 2,600 of these entities in the form of funding.
Acknowledging this support, Krishnan GS, President, ABLE said, “The increase in bio-incubators, seed money and mentoring support programmes offered by governments led to a conducive ecosystem for bio-innovators. They could explore opportunities in emerging areas of biotech like AMR, bio-stimulants, cancer genomics, gene editing and synthetic biology.”