It houses both a health incubation facility (Health Technology Innovation Center (HTIC) and a medical technology incubator) and a biotechnology incubator, where start-ups work on the next major health technology. IN HTIC incubates 45 start-ups in areas such as deep training and computer vision in diagnostics, non-invasive cancer screening, VR-based surgery training, and assistive technology for people with disabilities. In addition, two of the world’s largest pharmaceutical players, AstraZeneca and Pfizer, have established their Tamil Nadu research, technology and business services division.
Therefore, experts say, talent and investment will flow into the state. Since 2014, AstraZeneca’s Global Center for Innovation and Technology (GITC) and Gobal Business Services (GBS) have housed Chennai’s IT corridor with about 2,500 employees. The center is engaged in the development of advanced technologies and handles the value chain from end to end of business.
From building virtual reality-based tools to support and guide patients in clinical trials to work on VR-oriented programs, to train staff in the complex line without stopping production, the center focuses on accelerating the process from concept to the AstraZeneca global product market. “An example is our Covid vaccines, where the time to market was months, not years. Much of this is due to what we are doing here, ”said Shiva Padmanabhan, Managing Director, AstraZeneca India. “We also stimulated innovation through the start-ups we supported,” he added. They include tricoge, Predible and Qure. ai and collaboration with IIT-M and Sastra University.
The recent entry of Pfizer could also be a turning point for healthcare innovation. It has a drug development center in the IIT-Madras research park with an initial investment of Rs 150 crore. “This center is located close to a multidisciplinary research cluster, as well as IIT-Madras. It has close access to the technology corridor that supports our digital acceleration ambitions, as well as young industry players and start-ups, ”said S. Schridhar, Country Leader, Pfizer India. Tamil Nadu is also developing a life sciences policy to address both manufacturing and research in the pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors.
Recognizing that innovation ecosystems tend to grow around manufacturing clusters, the government is setting up a drug production park with an investment of ₹ 155 crores in Tindiwanam in partnership with the Indian Drug Manufacturers Association. Supported by Zoho vTitan, a manufacturer of medical devices, initially began designing and developing infusion pumps for syringes. The company already works on more than a dozen medical devices for respiratory care, radiology, cardiac care and remote patient monitoring. “There are many talented medical and engineering professionals in the state, which is vital for research and development,” said Prasad Maganti, vTitan’s chief executive. Samir MehtaChief Investment Officer, Atlas Family Office and Vice President Dr Mehta’s Hospitals, is one of the few angel investors focused on health technologies at TN.
He says the state urgently needs more investors to support start-up health technologies with a capital of patients. “We also need a foothold around which to develop innovation. Dr. Reddy played this role for Hyderabad, and Bengaluru has Biocon. “IIT-Madras’ HTIC is emerging as a hub for innovation here,” he said. Dr Mutu Singaram, HTIC’s chief executive, says R&D is about talent. “While young people are usually eager to go through the long periods of pregnancy associated with health technology ventures, we are seeing this change in the last 3-5 years,” he said.
Pharmaceuticals, food and biotechnology are among the sunrise sectors identified by the state government
There are more than 400 pharmaceutical companies specializing in bulk drugs, APIs, formulations and medical devices in TN
More than 70 institutes providing a number of pharmaceutical and biotechnological degrees and diplomas in the country
TN has global manufacturers of pharmaceutical and medical devices such as Trivitron Healthcare, Titan Corporation and others.
TN mainly exports surgical products, medical devices, ayush and herbal products, bulk drugs and bulk drug intermediaries
Chennai is also a leading medical tourism destination worldwide, offering huge potential for health and innovation research and development.
There are 2600+ biotech startups in India, with only about 140 (5%) of Tamil Nadu and therefore there is a huge field for growth.