Bioterrorism to fuel India's vaccine industry

Bioterrorism concerns are expected to fuel additional growth in India's vaccine production sector.

The combination of the growth of bioterrorism as a major security threat, the emergence of new infectious diseases and the development of new cancer treatments are all expected to push India's biopharmaceutical companies towards unprecedented growth, according to

Some experts are forecasting the Indian vaccine market to grow from a value of $350 million in 2011 to $870 by 2016. They also anticipate a potentially major shift in the global vaccine industry landscape, with emerging economies such as China and India supplying the most promising opportunities for growth.

In recent years, the world's most populous country has become a major player in the production of vaccines. Indian efforts have focused mainly on geographical regions of the world were vaccines are not regularly funded by the United Nations or other charitable organizations. Vaccine exports accounted for nearly 65 percent of the Indian vaccine market last year, reports.

In 2011, the Indian government responded by launching a national vaccine policy effort through its Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. In one of its initial actions, the ministry recommended reviving the canceled licenses of three vaccine production units, the Central Research Institute, the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin Vaccine Laboratory and the Pasteur Institute of India.