Indian biotechnology sector is expected to become a five billion-dollar (around Rs 23,400 crore) industry by 2010, investments in the segment are also growing at the rate of about 38 percent for the last three years and have touched US$ 560 million in 2006-07.

"The Indian biotechnology sector has excellent potential and is expected to touch five billion-dollar mark by 2010," a report jointly prepared by industry chamber CII and consultancy firm KPMG said. "India is ranked among the top 12 biotech destinations in the world and is the third biggest in Asia-Pacific in terms of the number of biotech companies," it added. Investments in the segment are also growing at the rate of about 38 percent for the last three years and have touched 560 million dollars in 2006-07. Biopharma is one of the important segments of the Indian biotechnology sector and it constitutes about 70 percent of the domestic biotech industry. Of the total 325 biotechnology companies in India, more than 40 percent are in the biopharma sector, the report said.

Availability of talent pool in the country is a big advantage for the Indian companies. The sector employs about 20,000 scientists, the report added. The industry has received significant contribution from leading institutes such as All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Centre for cellular and molecular biology (CCMB).

The report pointed out that educational infrastructure need to be upgraded to facilitate further progress in the industry. "India needs to invest in building a strong capability base in order to leverage large opportunities going forward. There are no shortcuts," report quoted Biocon CEO and MD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw as saying.