In the last few years, India has emerged as a global leader in biotechnology research. The success of well-established and globally reputed companies such as Bharat Biotech, Biocon as well as disruption by newly established startups has made India a hub of innovation in biotechnology.
One such innovation that would have a far-reaching impact on humanity and medical sciences came from a biotechnology startup named Tzar Labs, that announced “early cancer diagnosis with a discovery rooted in a contentious segment of cellular biology that, if validated by additional trials, holds vast market potential in a branch of therapeutic medicine worth tens of billions of dollars a year.”
This discovery would put India at the forefront of medicine for cancer, that has claimed millions of lives and trillions of dollars from humanity. If validated, this research would further strengthen India’s position as a global leader in the pharmaceutical sector and the emerging field of biotechnology.
“We can early-detect all types of cancer, even before tumour formation, from a simple blood test. It’s also the first prognostic test for cancer in the world,” Tzar Labs chief executive officer (CEO) Ashish Tripathi said. “Not only can we tell you you don’t have cancer, but we can also safely rule out the risk of cancer for the following year if your HrC marker falls in the safe zone. We envisage a world where one needs to do the HrC test once a year, and we will catch cancer either at stage 1 or prior.”
The company would establish its first lab in Lower Parel in Mumbai and would soon conduct large scale trials in western markets with a sample size of 10,000-20,000. The investors are already willing to pour millions of dollars into the company, and it would soon raise 200 million dollars to start the operations.
Every year, more than 15 million people are diagnosed with cancer, more than half of which die. India adds more than 11 lakh patients of cancer every year, and around 8 lakh people die from the deadly disease every year, as per data from the National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research.
This discovery would also give a booster shot to India’s already burgeoning medical tourism sector. India has emerged as a hub for medical tourism and pharmaceutical factory of the world, and it is expected to emerge as the driver of India’s economic growth in the coming years – along with a 200 billion dollars strong IT industry.
The Pharmaceutical Industry of India witnessed an unprecedented growth in the year in which the world was suffering from Coronavirus. The effective and low-cost Indian medicines and vaccines saved the lives of a large number of people around the world. And, this is the reason behind the fact that in a year in which the global pharmaceutical industry declined by 1-2 per cent, the pharmaceutical exports of India grew by 18.7 per cent.
In FY 21, the total pharmaceutical export was 24.4 billion dollars compared to 20.58 billion dollars in the last year – when the growth was in single digit at 7.57 per cent. North America emerged as the biggest purchaser accounting for 34 per cent of the total exports with exports to Justin Trudeau led Canada surging by 30 per cent.
In the next few years, the Indian pharmaceutical industry is expected to continue registering double digit growth given the surge in global demand for India produced generic medicines. Moreover, the increased focus and spending of the government on public health shall keep the domestic demand also high.