Excitement of biotechnology in the new economy (Review Paper)

  • Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw The Biocon India Group, Bangalore
Keywords: Human genome, Genomics, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Pharmacogenomics, High throughput screening, Gene therapy, Cloning


"Today the world economy is no longer driven by material wealth but instead powered by intellectual wealth. Knowledge in the economic context translates to technology, of which information technology and biotechnology are the prime drivers, India has made it in information technology. but not yet in biotechnology. The exciting synergy between information technology and biotechnology in the form of bioinformatics is paving the way for intellectual wealth creation in the areas of health care (including pharmaceuticals), food and agriculture. The race for discovering new lead molecules is frenzied in the pharmaceutical arena, being mined by high throughput screening techniques for new chemical entities. The Himalayan yew tree. for example, has provided a billion dollar cancer drug. taxol. Pharmacogenomics is providing ' a wealth of information pertaining to defective or missing genes-a new avenue for drug research. A new trend in bioinformatics is in silica testing, which involves computational simulation of in vivo and in vitro tests, providing better predictability of clinical trials. In gene therapy cloning and expressing healthy genes is simple, but finding a mechanism to deliver these genes into target cells is the difficult part. Promising methods include virus as well as non-virus-based delivery systems. How Indians can take advantage of the exciting opportunities in biotechnology? One can boast of a treasure chest of biodiversities-microbial, plant, animal and human, but it is largely unutilised. A large number of inbred communities in India are offering unique human genome pools for genomic studies. We have the main ingredient for global success in biotechnology-our scientific manpower. We need to harness this talent in an enabling business environment and a pragmatic, entrepreneurial mindset. "
How to Cite
Mazumdar-Shaw, K. (2002). Excitement of biotechnology in the new economy (Review Paper). Defence Science Journal, 51(4), 373-376. https://doi.org/10.14429/dsj.51.2251
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