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India is considered to be one of the fastest growing regions for the company

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Amit Bansal, MD, Corning India talks about his company’s focus areas, growth strategies, its plans for the Indian market and more, in an exclusive interaction

What is the revenue mix between the five business segments that Corning is present in: consumer electronics, telecom, automotive, life sciences and display?

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Amit Bansal

Corning is one of the world’s leading innovators in materials science. For more than 165 years, Corning has applied its unparalleled expertise in specialty glass, ceramics, and optical physics to develop products that have created new industries and transformed people’s lives. Corning operates in five reportable segments: Display Technologies, Optical Communications, Environmental Technologies, Specialty Materials and Life Sciences, and manufactures products at 98 plants across 17 countries.

Globally, the Display Technologies segment that manufactures glass substrates for active matrix liquid crystal displays, primarily in LCD televisions, notebook computers and flat panel desktop monitors, represented 34 per cent of Corning’s sales in 2016, the Optical Communications segment offering optical fibre, cable and connectivity solutions, represented 32 per cent, Environmental Technologies segment that manufactures ceramic substrates and filter products for emissions control in mobile and stationary applications around the world, represented 11 per cent, Specialty Materials segment that manufactures products that provide more than 150 material formulations for glass, glass ceramics and fluoride crystals to meet demand for unique customer needs, represented approximately 12 per cent and life sciences segment that offers tools and solutions to  researchers seeking new approaches to increase efficiencies, reduce costs and compress timelines in the drug discovery process, represented approximately nine per cent of Corning’s sales in 2016.

Corning India revenue is not publicly disclosed, but contributes to AP emerging market sales which recorded $363 million  in 2016 vs. $331 million in 2015.

What has been the growth in the life sciences segment?

Corning has been the leading developer, manufacturer and global supplier of scientific laboratory products for over 100 years. We are also the trusted suppliers to life scientists seeking new approaches to increase efficiencies, reduce costs and compress timelines in cell culture and bioprocessing, drug discovery, molecular biology and genomics, microbiology and quality testing, and chemistry fields.

Today, a revolution in drug development is underway–driving life science progress into new and innovative areas all centered around growing cells. Globally, Corning Life Sciences grew five per cent in 2016 compared to expected market growth of 2.5 per cent.  Globally, drug production continues to grow, and in addition to the chemically-based treatments we’ve always known, we now see a proliferation of highly effective biologic therapies. In fact, eight of the top 10 drugs on the market today are biologics.  Currently, Corning is investing and focussing in cell research. With an ageing population and the rise of lifestyle-related diseases and global healthcare, spending is projected to increase by over five per cent annually in the coming years (Deloitte Report).

Corning has established itself as the market leader in the moving liquids, adherent cell bioprocessing and growing cells segments. Currently, bioprocess and cell therapy are driving single digit growth for Corning Life Sciences.

In India, the growing population creates a huge demand for existing vaccines and for the development of new vaccines, Corning Life Sciences offers a comprehensive range of innovative, high-quality labware products and solutions for life science research and bio-production. Corning’s bioprocessing tools are already helping Indian biopharma companies to develop and produce vaccines. Additionally, the acquisition of  BD’s Discovery Labware business in 2012 has expanded the Corning Life Sciences product portfolio and enhanced its access to an extensive dealer network to serve customers in India.

As per IBEF research, India is among the top 12 biotech destinations in the world and ranks third in the Asia-Pacific region. India has the second-highest number of US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA)–approved plants, after the USA and is the largest producer of recombinant Hepatitis B vaccine. Out of the top 10 biotech companies in India (by revenue), seven have expertise in bio-pharmaceuticals and three specialties in agri-biotech. The Indian biotech industry holds about 2 per cent share of the global biotech industry. The biotechnology industry in India, comprising about 800 companies, is valued at $11 billion and is growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20 per cent. The government has to invest $5 billion to develop human capital, infrastructure and research initiatives if it is to realise the dream of growing the sector into a $100 billion industry by 2025. Biopharma is the largest sector contributing about 64 per cent of the total revenue followed by bio services (18 per cent), bioagri (14 per cent), bio industry (three per cent), and bioinformatics contributing (one per cent). The upward trend in Indian life sciences market will provide Corning with an immense growth opportunity in the country. As per the internal reports of Corning, the company has successfully doubled its revenues and India is considered to be one of the fastest growing regions for the company, thus contributing to Corning’s success.

Which are the geographic markets showing promising growth? What are the growth drivers?

A revolution in drug development is underway which is driving life science progress not only into new and innovative areas of research, but new markets as well. Asia Pacific region has consistently proven to be a dynamic market in terms of growth and opportunity available. The primary development has notably been experienced in the healthcare segment like vaccine production and immunotherapy. This increase is driven by a large and aging population along with the need for preventive healthcare which goes hand in hand with Corning’s expertise of developing, manufacturing and supplying products to life scientists seeking new approaches to increase efficiencies, reduce costs and compress timelines in cell culture and bioprocessing, drug discovery, molecular biology and genomics, to name a few.

Asia Pacific has been one of the key focus regions for Corning Life Sciences, and Corning is committed to Asia’s vaccine industry by providing more professional and technical support to the customers to optimise their processes and improve yield.

Apart from the segments where Corning is already active, we are also working on capturing an exciting opportunity for next–generation glass packaging for drug storage and delivery. Corning Pharmaceutical Glass is uniquely suited to supply high-quality pharma glass tubing to meet the rigorous needs of the pharma packaging industry. Corning Pharmaceutical Glass manufacture a variety of clear and amber borosilicate glass tubing, which is converted by our global customers into glass vials, cartridges, ampules and syringes for drug storage and delivery. In addition, a new era of medicines, based on biologically-derived drugs or ‘biologics’, has started to show significant growth, with an estimate of it accounting for up to 80  per cent of all drugs that are being developed or launched, hence becoming another of our key focus areas. Corning continues to develop and produce innovative technologies aimed at the growing biologic drug production markets.

What is your market share in the products and services for this division?

The Indian pharma market is currently at $25 billion and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12 per cent till 2020, giving Corning Life Sciences a platform for immense growth opportunities. Notably, the year 2016 witnessed the strongest performance in Corning Life Sciences history in India.

Where does India fit into the company’s global strategy for the future?

Corning, as a market leader in the life sciences industry globally, has footprints in cell culture, bio-process, microbiology, drug discovery, genomics, molecular biology, small lab equipment and chemistry. India is one of the fastest growing markets for Corning Life Sciences in the Asia-Pacific region and shows great potential for business. India’s life science market is the third largest by incremental growth and the seventh largest by volume.  In India, Corning Life Sciences provides solutions to academic institutions, R&D, contract research organisations and pharma industry.

India’s growing population (expected to reach 1.4 billion in 2022 as per the 2015 UN Report), creates the demand for not only large scale production of vaccines but also extensive research for newer ones; Corning’s expertise in providing the this service, provides for strong potential to deliver solutions for this demand, making India one of its potentially biggest markets for Corning, outside the US.

Corning’s major focus areas in India have been bioprocess, cell culture and molecular biology/genomics. In the future, we are looking forward to increase our product offering by introducing cell culture media and innovative scale-up technologies like CellCube which is an integral, encapsulated, sterile, single-use device that is 100 per cent pressure-hold tested before shipment that comprises of a series of parallel, styrene plates joined to create thin, sealed, laminar flow spaces between adjacent plates and HYPERStack, a new product line combines the best of two Corning products; the CellSTACK Culture Chamber and HYPERFlask vessel. The utilisation of the proprietary gas-permeable film technology provided in the format of the CellSTACK Culture Chamber allows the HYPERStack vessel to be the most efficient, scalable cell culture vessel for adherent cell culture available today. These technologies will provide efficient processing.

How does Corning score over your peer solutions providers in the life sciences sector?

Corning seeks to maintain a competitive advantage by emphasising product quality, global distribution, supply chain efficiency,  superior product attributes and by offering a world- class customer experience.

Corning is a market leader in the industry in which we operate. For over 100 years, Corning Life Sciences has been developing, manufacturing and supplying high quality, innovative products and solutions. Corning offers range of life science applications, accelerating the industry’s discovery of new drugs, treatments, and breakthroughs that saves and change lives.

Our trusted brands, backed by technical expertise, provide researchers with better ways to advance their research from the beginning of their process to the end.

Corning has developed technologies that change the way researchers work, including optimised synthetic surfaces for cell culture and assays, biological surfaces, single-use products and closed system solutions for more efficient scale-up and downstream bioprocess, automation solutions, and Next-Generation Sequencing solutions to simplify genomics sample preparation and library construction. These technologies are bringing new efficiencies and improved results to scientists around the world.

With our local warehouse in Mumbai, it’s easy for researchers in India to access to all the Corning Life Sciences products. Our end-to-end total solutions enable researchers to make breakthrough discoveries easier and faster.

Corning has been the most trusted supplier to life scientists seeking new approaches to increase efficiencies, reduce costs, and compress timelines. Using our unique expertise in the combined fields of materials science, surfaces, molecular biology and biochemistry, we provide a full range of innovative solutions that improve productivity, enable breakthrough discoveries and save and change lives.

Corning has grown in India through acquisitions and collaborations. What kind of acquisitions, collaborations are you currently pursuing and in which part of the portfolio?

India is one of our biggest and most promising markets, we will continue to explore our growth opportunities in the country.

What are the revenue targets, growth targets for the life sciences business in Corning in India and what are the strategies to achieve these targets?

Globally, we are expecting low single digit sales growth from our life science business in 2017, ahead of forecasted market growth rates driven by demand for bioprocessing, cell therapy and 3D cell culture applications.

Corning expanded their ADME/ Tox product offering in April to include Corning TransportoCells HEK293-derived ABC transporter membrane vesicles and Corning Supersomes Ultra Human Aldehyde Oxidase (AO) enzyme. Building on its large line of Corning Gentest in vitro transporter models, TransportoCells provide an innovative cell model for solute carrier (SLC) transporter studies. Corning’s new ABC transporter vesicles are made from HEK cells transiently transfected to over-express a single human ABC transporter protein. Using this mammalian expression system, the new products avoid many disadvantages associated with insect cell expression systems. The product portfolio now includes four human ABC transporter vesicles and a control vesicle.

Corning also extended its line of Corning Gentest Supersome recombinant metabolic enzymes using a mammalian expression system. Corning Supersome Ultra Human AO is a stable and reliable in vitro tool for the study of AO-mediated metabolism, which has increasing importance in drug development. As a robust and consistent screening platform, Corning Supersomes Ultra Human AO delivers significantly higher (three-to-four-fold higher) activity as compared to bacterial expression systems.

Corning Life Sciences brings new and innovative laboratory technologies to researchers worldwide and helps customers succeed by providing innovative, high quality products and services in the areas of polymer science, biochemistry and molecular biology, glass melting and forming, surface modification, and characterisation science.

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