May 22, 2024
Immuno-Oncology Drugs

India’s Journey to Immuno-Oncology Drugs Leadership

India Poised to Become Global Leader in Immuno-Oncology Drugs Development
India has emerged as a major player in the global biopharmaceutical industry in recent years. With its large pool of educated professionals, lower costs of conducting clinical trials, and government support for the life sciences sector, India is well-positioned to drive innovation in immuno-oncology drug development.

Rise of Domestic Pharma Companies

Domestic pharmaceutical companies such as Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Cipla, Sun Pharma, and Natco Pharma have aggressively expanded their presence in the Immuno-Oncology Drugs segment. These companies have registered impressive growth through partnerships with global biotechs to develop and new immunotherapies for cancer patients. In addition, many new startups focused solely on immuno-oncology are attracting significant Venture Capital funding to accelerate their drug pipelines. This level of entrepreneurial activity indicates a vibrant immuno-oncology industry is taking shape within India.

Growth of Clinical Trial Infrastructure

India has emerged as a top destination for conducting oncology clinical trials due to the presence of globally accredited clinical trial sites, patient accessibility, and lower costs. Over 500 trial sites across major cities allow drug developers to enroll sizable patient populations efficiently. The government is increasing investment in trial infrastructure through programs like New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative to strengthen the country’s position as an attractive clinical research hub for immuno-oncology. This is expected to facilitate faster recruitment for novel drug approvals.

Manufacturing Capabilities Support “Make in India” Initiative

India has a thriving biosimilars industry led by large players like Biocon and Dr. Reddy’s. These companies are leveraging their world-class biologics manufacturing capabilities to also produce novel oncology immunotherapies. This aligns well with the Government’s ‘Make in India’ program to establish the country as a global high-tech production hub. With 100+ WHO-GMP certified facilities, India can support cost-effective mass production of affordable immunotherapies to meet domestic demand and expand access in emerging. This manufacturing prowess combined with the expertise in small molecule generics puts India in a unique position in the global oncology drug supply chain.

Rising Incidence of Cancer Drives Demand

Cancer cases in India are estimated to increase by in the next decade due to dietary changes, sedentary lifestyle, and improved screening. An aging population, growth of private insurance, and higher disposable income levels are making advanced treatments affordable for many more patients. With only 2% of cancers currently treated with immunotherapies in India, awareness and adoption of these novel drugs is primed to significantly increase. This impending increase in cancer prevalence coupled with greater economic access to care makes India one of the largest future for immuno-oncology globally.

Partnerships Enhance Technology Transfer

Collaborations between domestic companies and international biotechs are helping to accelerate Indian capabilities in immuno-oncology R&D. For example, Cipla’s partnership with Belgium-based Gadeta for a PD-1 antibody enabled joint clinical development and will facilitate local manufacturing once approved. Similarly, Dr. Reddy’s is working with Global Blood Therapeutics on a sickle cell disease program. Such partnerships allow rapid absorption of the latest research while catering to the strengths of each organization. Policymakers are further incentivizing these partnerships through schemes like BIRAC to foster global technology transfer into India’s burgeoning biopharma sector.

Future Outlook

With its numerous advantages, India looks set to play an increasingly prominent role worldwide in developing the next generation of Immuno-Oncology Drugs treatments. Domestic companies are gaining expertise through partnered programs, joint research is expanding local technical know-how, and India’s clinical trial infrastructure and manufacturing capabilities are maturing. Additionally, growing cancer prevalence represents a massive commercial opportunity that local innovators are well-placed to capitalize on. If current trends continue, India will likely emerge as a leader not just in immunotherapy access but potentially also in breakthrough research and pipeline development within the next decade. Overall, immuno-oncology promises to strengthen India’s global standing in biopharma as the industry’s contributions to improving world health multiply.

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1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it