State govt. plans B-Hub at Genome Valley

Rahnuma: The Telangana government, one of whose globally, well-known initiatives had been the T-Hub start-up incubator, now plans to set up B-Hub for biotech and biopharma sector in Genome Valley.

B-Hub will be the first-of-its-kind initiative in the country, aimed at providing much needed support to the biopharma research and development activities featuring a scale-up manufacturing facility along with a turnkey incubator, labspace module at GLP grade within a built-up area of 40,000 sq ft. This was stated in an official release on Industries and IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao on Tuesday announcing plans to establish B-Hub after a detailed discussion in the presence of Industries Secretary Jayesh Ranjan, TSIIC vice-chairman and managing director E.V. Narasimha Reddy and Director-Life Sciences and Pharma Shakthi Nagappan.

Establishment of such an end-to-end biopharma scale-up manufacturing facility would give domestic firms the required impetus to compete with Korean, Chinese and French companies who had taken lead in biopharma innovation. Companies that are in early stage clinical development but lacked the requisite expertise and resources to navigate the complexities associated with business planning, cell line development, process development, technology, and/or regulatory and risk assessment, would leverage B-Hub facility to help break down roadblocks and improve the likelihood of commercial success, the release said.

The estimated project cost of B-Hub is ₹ 60 crore and the facility is to be set up through public-private partnership in Genome Valley, which is the country’s first organised cluster for life sciences R&D and clean manufacturing activities. According to Mr. Rao, with Indian companies aggressively embarking on the global biosimilars opportunity, a biopharma scale-up facility would help them leapfrog in their efforts as well as reduce the time to market.

“Inadequacy of scale-up infrastructure and funding is pushing cream of biopharma ventures to re-domicile themselves in different parts of the world. Hyderabad being the life sciences capital of the country, we have taken the lead by conceptualising B-Hub, a biopharma scale-up lab with separate areas for cell-line development, media screening, clone selection, upstream and downstream process development and small-scale production (100L) for pre-clinical studies,” he said in the release.

With over 200 companies, Genome Valley is home to firms with varied capabilities. Figuring in the list of the companies are two major vaccine manufacturers with WHO-prequalified vaccines for global supply. The release said Hyderabad, in recent times, had emerged as a major scientific and R&D hub for pharma and life sciences sector.

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