India is emerging as a favourable destination to conduct clinical trials, according to a report released by PwC India and the US-India Chamber of Commerce (USAIC) on Wednesday.
The report was released at the USAIC BioPharma and Healthcare Summit held virtually on Wednesday.
It showed that India has an overall clinical trial participation of about 3 per cent but contributes upwards of 15 per cent to the global burden of most high prevalent diseases (e.g., respiratory infections, cardiovascular, diabetes, cervical cancer), representing an untapped potential for top pharma.
Between 2015 and 2020, the number of investigators increased by 2x with the majority of the increase occurring in the internal medicine and oncology specialisations.
However, the growth in the number of investigators is largely restricted to tier-I and II cities, the report said.
"Clinical trial activity in India has been increasing steadily since 2014 due to several key regulatory reforms aimed towards global harmonisation, enabling open access to clinical trials in India," said Sujay Shetty, Partner & Global Health Industries Leader, PwC, in a statement.
He attributed the increase to the country's diverse population, combined with its rapidly advancing healthcare infrastructure, which provides a fertile ground for clinical trials to flourish.
"This is an opportunity for top biopharma companies to develop a long-term strategy that focuses on the key enablers of innovation and strategic partnerships in India," Shetty said.
While the top 20 pharma activity for the major therapy classes in India has remained largely constant in the last decade, growth opportunities exist across key diseases (e.g., pain, epilepsy, cervical cancer) and orphan diseases (beta-thalassemia, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy), the report showed.
Further it suggested top biopharma should align their strategy towards tier-I cities (e.g., Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai) where the higher bed capacity, number of doctors, and presence of tertiary care multi-city hospitals can support enablement efforts of running faster and more efficient clinical trials.
"With a large and diverse patient pool, streamlined regulatory processes, and a highly skilled workforce, India offers a favourable environment for biopharma companies to conduct efficient and cost-effective clinical trials," said Karun Rishi, President, USAIC.
"By tapping into this opportunity, companies can accelerate their drug development timelines, increase the efficiency of their research, and bring innovative treatments to patients in need, ultimately advancing global healthcare," he added.
(With inputs from IANS)