miércoles, abril 18, 2007

India y la biotecnología

Technology Review, la revista tecnológica del MIT, destaca un cable de AP sobre el crecimiento de los negocios de biotecnología en India:
India's health biotechnology companies are on their way to becoming major global players because they can produce generic drugs at significantly lower costs than their Western counterparts.
[Afirma Peter Singer ]''India is innovating its way out of poverty,'' Peter A. Singer, one of the co-authors of the study said in a news release.
The country's biotech sector is ''like a baby elephant, when it matures it will occupy a lot of space,'' Singer said.
(...)''Indian companies appear well positioned to leverage their cost-effective manufacturing capabilities to corner some of this market share and compete on a global level,'' the report said.
(...)According to India's Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises, the country's total biotech exports in the financial year that ended March 2006 were 33.57 billion rupees (US$763 million; euro570 million). Health-related biotechnology exports were nearly 75 percent of total Indian exports.
The Serum Institute of India, the country's largest domestic vaccine supplier and exporter, is a prime example of the surging biotech industry, helping immunize half the world's children against several diseases through UNICEF and the Pan American Health Organization, the study said.
Multinational corporations are also increasingly conducting clinical trials in India, and relying on Indian companies to manage these trials, it said.
Sin embargo, una vez más, pesan las fuertes cargas de desigualdad en sus posibilidades:

(...) There are barriers to growth, the report noted, with the biggest problem being India's slow bureaucracy. Poor public health infrastructure and the high cost of rural distribution are also problematic.
But there are also concerns that the promise of profits may divert much-needed attention away from research into diseases like tuberculosis and malaria that plague the developing world, and which Western companies aren't likely to focus on, the report said.
With 1.8 million new cases each year, India has the highest number of TB infections in the world and nearly 350,000 Indians die of the disease annually. Malaria kills hundreds each year, especially in India's poor northeast region.

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