Biotechnology projects aim to save $1.44 billion

May 24, 2021 - 16:3

TEHRAN – The Biotechnology Development Council will launch 129 production projects with the aim of saving up to $1.44 billion of foreign currency, IRNA reported on Monday.

The projects include the production of 27 biological medicine, 12 vaccine development, and 90 pharmaceutical raw materials through knowledge-based companies. The Vice Presidency for Science and Technology will also support the plans financially and commercially.

The Biotechnology Development Council is also working to accelerate the implementation of such programs by concluding a memorandum of understanding with capable companies to set production priorities, accelerate and lead start-ups, and provide financial support.

Currently, over 5,700 knowledge-based companies are active in Iran, manufacturing diverse products to meet the needs of the domestic market while saving large amounts of foreign currency, in addition to export the items.

The fields of aircraft maintenance, steel, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment, oil, and gas are among the sectors that researchers in technology companies have engaged in, leading to import reduction.

Irani ranks 12th in biotechnology 

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

Foreign exchange savings of $1 billion per year by producing 22 biopharmaceuticals, gaining the first rank in biotechnology products and vaccines in West Asia, and the presence among the top five biotechnology producers in Asia are among 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 biotechnology medicines, 12 vaccine projects, 90 pharmaceutical raw materials, and 55 projects in agriculture and food security have been implemented in order to gain a 3 percent market share and biotechnology assistance to the development of the economy, he explained.

Some 8 major companies are responsible for managing the country's 117 priority products in the fields of biopharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical raw materials, vaccines, probiotics, equipment, and chemical drugs, he emphasized.

Pharmaceutical capabilities

Mohammad Reza Shanehsaz, head of the Food and Drug Administration, said in January that the Iranian pharmaceutical industry and scientists are capable of producing any kind of medicine over a two-year period.

Health Minister Saeed Namaki said that some 97 percent of the whole medicine consumed in the country is produced domestically and only 3 percent is imported.

Sourena Sattari Vice President for Science and Technology, also said that “Iran plays a leading role in the field of biotechnology in the region, with the production of 24 biotech medicine.

Ismail Ghaderifar, head of the center for strategic technologies development of the vice presidency of science and technology added that under sanctions in the most difficult conditions, Iran combatted the pandemic and knowledge-based companies could make the country independent. Moreover, they managed to produce pharmaceutical items required by the country's health system.