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Biotechnology Initiatives Planned In Hyderabad

An international institute of life sciences is to be launched in the Indian city of Hyderabad, establishing its position as the country’s biotechnology hub. // This will be a biotech incubation center meant for start-ups, and an animal resource facility which will come up to international standards, at the Genome Valley.

Over 50 biotech firms, including several multinationals, have already established their units in this cluster, spread over 600 square kilometers around the city. The International Institute Of Life Sciences Institute, coming up on the Hyderabad University campus, will be modeled on the lines of the Johns Hopkins University, and it will be an industry-driven center.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will set up the National Animal Resource Facility for Biomedical Research in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), US. The government has allotted 100 acres of land for the facility, which will come up at a cost of Rs.1 billion near ICICI Knowledge Park. This will be South Asia’s largest facility for primates.

An umbilical cord stem cell bank and bio-medical research center and state-of-the-art maternity hospital to be set up by the Pacific Health Care Holdings, Singapore; an agri biotech park at International Crop Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)) at Patancheru on the city outskirts; a dedicated township life city for those employed in Genome Valley; and a marine biotech park in the coastal city of Visakhapatnam are the other initiatives planned by the state.

The state had also set up India's first biotech venture fund with a corpus of $30 million, launched as a joint venture between the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Development Corporation (APIDC) Venture Capital Ltd and Dynam Venture East, USA, to fund start-up biotech companies.

The ICICI Knowledge Park, which offers wet labs for research and development, and SP Biotech Park in Genome Valley have already attracted 54 leading biotech companies. United States Pharmacopeia, the official public standards-setting authority for medicines in the US, has also set up its facility here, its first outside Washington.

With two phases of the SP biotech park fully occupied, the State Government has allotted 300 acres of land for the third phase. BioAsia 2006, the global bio business forum beginning here 9 February 2006, will showcase the biotech cluster. Officials of Gujarat, Uttaranchal, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Punjab and Delhi will visit ICICI Knowledge Park to learn from the state's experience in setting up biotech clusters. A special session on 'bio cluster development in India' will also be held on the occasion.

Edited (IANS)

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