Biotechnology holds 40% of pharmaceutical exports

TEHRAN — Some 40 percent of the country’s total pharmaceutical exports are biotech products, said a board member of the Association of Manufacturers and Exporters of Medical Biotech Products.

The self-sufficiency in the production of these products is unique compared to other countries in the world, added Bardia Farzanfar.

He went on to explain that biotechnology refers to the use of living systems and organisms to develop products or any technological application that uses biological systems, organisms or their derivatives to create or modify certain products or processes.

The production costs of biotech products are different from those of chemical drugs and have saved the country ten times more foreign exchange, and many knowledge-based enterprises have achieved self-sufficiency in the production of these products without depending on ‘other countries.

Iranian biotech products are exported to European, Asian and Latin American countries, and Iranian technology can compete with other countries in this field, he added.

About 80% of biotechnology molecules are produced in the country, and we are the second country in the world in the production of these products.

“We are also self-sufficient in the production of plasma-derived products, and we have designed and established the formula for these products,” he said.

There are more than 500 knowledge-based companies active in the field of biotechnology, and about 16 companies operating in the field of medicine.

Development of biotechnology

Currently, 20 to 30 types of biotech drugs are produced in the country in addition to kits, vaccines and blood products. In addition, 80% of biotech pharmaceuticals are produced in the country.

Iranian biotech products are exported to European, Asian and Latin American countries. Biotechnology is now widespread in all fields and is no longer limited to biomedical drugs, so it has replaced injured limbs.

The Vice Presidency for Science and Technology is expected to achieve a 3% share of the global biotechnology market.

In May 2021, the Biotechnology Development Board launched 129 production projects with the aim of saving up to $1.44 billion in foreign currency.

Iran is ranked 12th in the world and first in West Asia in terms of biotechnology, as 9.5% of knowledge-based companies’ revenues and more than 60% of their exports are related to biotechnology.

Currency savings of $1 billion a year from producing 22 biopharmaceuticals, achieving #1 ranking in biotech and vaccines in West Asia, and being among the top five biotech producers in Asia are among of the country’s achievements, Mostafa Ghanei, secretary of the biotechnology development office of the vice presidency for science and technology, said in October 2020.

So far, 27 biotech drugs, 12 vaccine projects, 90 pharmaceutical raw materials and 55 agriculture and food security projects have been implemented to achieve 3% market share and biotechnology assistance to the development of the economy, he explained.