January 31, 2023

The National Biopharma Mission

The national biopharma mission is an all-industry-intellect mission created to accelerate the development of biopharmaceuticals in India. With around 50% of the mission loaned out from the World Bank, this mission is worth USD 250 million. The Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) implements the NBM. The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has set up BIRAC, a public-sector enterprise.

The National Biopharma mission was created as a way of making an India initiative and promoting entrepreneurship in that particular sector. With an initial focus on Dengue, they want to cover all major parts including biosimilars for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes and medical diagnostics and devices.

Let us understand a bit more about this mission in this article 

Objectives of the National Biopharma Mission

1. Development of product leads at advanced stages of the product development life cycle.

2. Nurture and facilitate a conducive environment to prepare India’s product and technological development capabilities in biopharmaceuticals.

3. Strengthening and establishing shared infrastructure facilities for product validation and development.

4. Developing human capital by providing training to address the crucial skills gap across the product development value chain.

5. Enhancing and creating intellectual property management and technology transfer capabilities and capacities.

6. To make India a hub for developing and designing affordable, novel, and effective biopharmaceutical solutions and products.

7. Focus on developing biotherapeutics, new vaccines, medical devices, and diagnostics to address the increasing burden of diseases in India.

Activities under National Biopharma Mission

The primary activities under the NBM include 

Specific product development 

With biotherapeutics, vaccines, and medical diagnostics, related to public health, the NBM has identified the three significant portals for product development. The NBM supports researchers, public and private entrepreneurs, start-ups, and companies and has established proof of concept, and are on its way to product development 

Building shared infrastructure  

One of the objectives of NBM is to create a viable supply of current products and ensure a good future pipeline of development and good outsourcing capabilities by strengthening the infrastructure, accelerating translational research, building effective collaborative partnerships for cutting-edge technologies, and enhancing clinical expertise. The components of this activity are as follows:-

1. Strengthening or establishing shared facilities that are accessible and equipped with the relevant talent and state-of-the-art infrastructure.

2. Building a consortium of partners, in-country and global network of research entities for the development of innovative platforms and technologies.

3. Clinical trial units are linked to a network of clinical experts and sites to conduct reliable and standardized clinical trials.

Building and strengthening domain-specific knowledge and management skills 

The NBM facilitates skill development to build next-generation inter-disciplinary skills for business development capabilities, knowledge of navigating regulatory policies, product innovation, and better management of IPR systems and practices to create an effective workforce and next-generation leaders.

Creating and enhancing technology transfer capabilities in public and private sectors, including intellectual property management

The NBM provides increased opportunities for academia and enhances academia-industry interlinking to translate knowledge into technologies and products through the following activities:

1. Setups of technology transfer offices in regions already established or are upcoming bio-clusters.

2. Train intellectual property management and technology transfer professionals.

3. Assist in the adaption and acquisition of technologies.

4. Create Intellectual Property (IP) awareness. 

Innovate in India (I3) Programme

The government launched the Innovate in India (I3) program under the NBM. It envisages creating an enabling ecosystem to promote indigenous manufacturing and entrepreneurship in the biopharma sector. It is the first-ever industry-academia mission to accelerate biopharmaceutical development in India. It aims at filling the gaps in the pharmaceutical sector, such as:

1. Lower focus on translational research.

2. Unconnected centers of excellence.

3. Staggered funding.

The I3 program has a focus on the following verticals:

1. Development of product leads for biosimilars, vaccines, and medical devices relevant to the public health need by focusing on managed partnerships.

2. Upgradation of shared infrastructure facilities and establishing them as discovery validations/product discovery and manufacturing centers.

3. Development of human capital by providing specific training.

4. Development of technology transfer offices to enhance industry-academia inter-linkages.


1. What is the aim of the National Biopharma Mission?

The National Biopharma Mission was launched to enable and nurture an ecosystem to prepare technological and product development capabilities of India in biopharmaceutical to make it globally competitive

2. What is meant by biopharma?

A biopharmaceutical, also known as a biologic (al) medical product, or biologic, is any pharmaceutical drug product manufactured in, extracted from, or semi-synthesized from biological sources. They can be used in both human and animal medicine.


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