A Model for Indigenous Development of Biopharmaceutical Industry: The Case of CinnaGen Company

Document Type : Research Article (Original Article)


1 MSc in Business Administration, Faculty of Management, Science and Technology, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Management, Science and Technology, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran.

3 CinnaGen Company, Tehran, Iran


Recent studies on technological catch-up show a strategic shift from the whole process towards focusing on the processes. Traditionally, scholars were interested in examining the relationship between local and international sources of knowledge through quantitative methods. In more recent years, there has been a growing interest to understand the influential factors and the dynamism of catching-up processes altogether. Recent studies show that in order to reach a deeper understanding of technological catching-up by latecomers, it is crucial to focus on the challenges, difficulties and processes instead of the results per se. In this study, building on holistic case study approach, the CinnaGen Company as one of the successful catch-up companies in the Iranian biopharmaceutical industry is analyzed as a case. This research highlights the vital role of indigenous technological development effort in addition to the corroboration of the influencing factors as explicated in the literature on technological catching-up thus far. The findings of this research provide insights for biopharmaceutical industry as well as the catching-up literature.


  1. آمارنامه­دارویی 8 ماهه نخست سال 1397، سازمان غذا و دارو.
  2. حمیدی مطلق،روح­الله، عیسایی­، محمدتقی، یمین، محمد، بابایی، علی، کرمانشاه، علی،(1395). حرکت­های جمعی و تغییرات نهاد و فناوری: بررسی ­شکلگیری ­بنگاه­های ­علم­محور در صنعت ­زیست­داروی ایران­. نشریه­ی علمی-پژوهشی مدیریت ­نوآوری، سال پنجم، شماره2: 33-58.
  3. خردمندنیا، سهیلا، براتی، مرتضی، فقیهی، مهدی، (1394)، گزارش زیست­فناوری از دیدگاه ­سیاست­ها، قوانین­ و مقررات، دفتر مطالعات ارتباطات و فناوریهای نوین مجلس شورای اسلامی­، http://rc.majlis.ir/fa/report/show/92798، 15/4/95.
  4. صابر، علی، الهی، شعبان، مجیدپور، مهدی، شایان،علی، صاحبکارخراسانی، سیدمحمد،(1397)، تلاش‌های همپایی فناورانه بنگاه‌های زیست­داروی ایران، فصلنامه سیاست علم و فناوری، سال دهم، شماره 4: 49-94.
  5. کارگرشهامت، بهمن، تقوا، محمدرضا، طباطبائیان، سید حبیب­الله، صالحی قدسیانی، جمشید، (1395)، الزامات ­شکل­گیری ­شبکه­ی نوآوری­: تحلیلی از قاعده ­بنگاه­داری در بخش دارویی ایران­. نشریه علمی-پژوهشی بهبود مدیریت، سال دهم، شماره 4 : 49-94.
  6. مؤمنی­راد، اکبر؛ علی­آبادی، خدیجه؛ فردانش، هاشم؛مزینی،ناصر،(1392). تحلیل محتوای کیفی در آیین پژوهش، ماهیت، مراحل و اعتبار نتایج. فصلنامه اندازه­گیری تربیتی (14).
  7. Catanzaro M. (1988) Using qualitative analytical techniques. Nursing Research; Theory and Practice (Woods P. & Catanzaro M., eds), C.V. Mosby Company, New York, pp. 437–456.
  8. Chataway, J. , Kale, D. & Wield, D. (2007) The Indian Pharmaceutical Industry Before and After TRIPS, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 19:5, 559-563.
  9. Chaturvedi, S.,(2007). Exploring Interlinkages between National and Sectoral Innovation Systems for Rapid Technological Catch-up: Case of Indian Biopharmaceutical Industry, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 19:5, 643-657.
  10. Creswell, J., )2013(. Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. SAGE Publications Inc.
  11. Eisenhardt, K.M.,(1989).Building theories from case study research. Acad. Manag. 14 (4), 532–550.
  12. Gerschenkron, A., 1962. Economic backwardness in historical perspective, Cambridge, mass. Belknap press. In: Fagerberg, J., Mowery, D., Nelson, R. (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Innovation. Oxford University Press.
  13. Gibbs, G. R.(2007). Analyzing qualitative data. In U. Flick (Ed.), The Sage qualitative research kit.London: Sage.
  14. Hobday, M., (1994). Export-led technology development in the four dragons: the case of electronics. Dev. Chang. 25 (2): 331–361.
  15. Hu, H., (2015). Catch-Up of Chinese Pharmaceutical Firms Facing Technological Complexity, International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management Vol. 12, No. 4.
  16. Joo and Lee (2009) Samsung's catch-up with Sony: an analysis using US patent data. J. Asia Pac. Econ., 2010,15 (3): 271–287.
  17. Katrak, H.,(1997). Developing countries' imports of technology, in-house technological capabilities and efforts: an analysis of the Indian experience. J. Dev. Econ. 53: 67–83.
  18. Kale, D., Little, S.,(2007): From Imitation to Innovation: The Evolution of R&D Capabilities and Learning Processes in the Indian Pharmaceutical Industry, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 19:5, 589-609.
  19. Kale, D. & Wield, D.,(2008): Exploitative and Explorative Learning as a Response to the TRIPS Agreement in Indian Pharmaceutical Firms, Industry and Innovation, 15:1.
  20. Kale, D.(2009). International migration, knowledge diffusion and innovation capacities in the Indian pharmaceutical industry, New Technology, Work and Employment 24:3.
  21. Kale, D. (2012). Innovative Capability Development in the Indian Pharmaceutical Industry, International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management, Vol. 9, No. 2.
  22. Kale,D. & Huzair, F.,(2017). Heterogeneity in learning processes and the evolution of dynamic managerial capabilities as a response of emergence of biosimilar market: evidence from the Indian pharmaceutical industry, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management.
  23. Kim, L.,(1998). Crisis Construction and Organizational Learning: Capability Building in Catching-up at Hyundai Motor. Organ. Sci. 9 (4): 506–521.
  24. Lee, K., Lim, C., (2001). Technological Regimes, Catching-up and Leapfrogging: the Findings from Korean Industries. Res. Policy 30: 459–483.
  25. Lee, K., (2005). Making a technological catch-up: barriers and opportunities. Asian J. Technol. Innov. 13 (2): 97–131.
  26. Lin, Y., Rasiah, R.,(2014). Human Capital Flows in Taiwan's Technological Catch Up in Integrated Circuit Manufacturing. J. Contemp. Asia 44 (1), 64–83.
  27. Majidpour, Mehdi, (2013), The Unintended Consequences of US-led Sanctions on  Iranian Industries, Iranian Studies, 46:1, 1-15, DOI: 10.1080/00210862.2012.740897.
  28. Majidpour, Mehdi, (2016), Technological Catch-p in complex product systems, J. Eng. Technol. Manage. ,41(2016), 92-105.
  29. Majidpour, Mehdi,(2017).International technology transfer and the dynamics of  complementarity: A new approach, Technological Forcast. & Soc. Change, 122 (2017) :196-206.
  30. Mahboudi, F., Hamedifar, H. & Aghajani, H.,)2012(. Medical biotechnology trends and achievements in Iran.  Avicenna journal of medical biotechnology, 4(4): 200-205.
  31. Malerba, F., Nelson, R.,(2011). Learning and catching up in different sectoral systems: evidence from six industries. Ind. Corp. Chang. 20 (6): 1645–1675.
  32. Mazzoleni, R., Nelson, R.,(2007). Public research institution and economic catch-up. Res.Policy : 36,1512–1528.
  33. Mudambi, S. and Tallman, S.,(2010). Make, Buy or Ally? Theoretical Perspectives on Knowledge Process Outsourcing through Alliances, Journal of Management Studies 47:8.
  34. Nelson, R. (2011),‘Economic development as an evolutionary process,’ Innovation and Development, 1(1): 39–50.
  35. Niosi, Jorge,(2011).Complexity and path dependence in biotechnology innovation systems, Industrial & Corporate Change, 20(6), 1795-1826.
  36. Pack, H., Saggi,K.,(1997). Inflows of foreign technology and indigenous technological development. Rev. Dev. Econ.1 (1): 81–98.
  37. Perez, C.,(2001).Technological change and opportunities for development as a moving target. CEPAL Rev (75): 109–130 (December).
  38. Radosevic, S.,(1999). International technology transfer and catch-up in economic development. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  39. Reid, S. Ramani, Sh.(2012). The harnessing of biotechnology in India: Which roads to travel?, Technological Forecasting & Social Change ,79.
  40. Samadikuchaksarae, Ali ,Mousavizadeh, Kazem,(2008). High-tech biomedical research: lessons from Iran's experience, Biomedical Engineering online,2008, 7:17.
  41. Yin, R.K.(2006) Case Study Methods. In Handbook of Complementary Methods in Education Research. By: Green, J., Camilli, G. & Elmore, P. American Educational Research Association, Washington.
  42. Whang, Y.K., Hobday, M.,(2011). Local ‘test bed’ market demand in the transition to leadership: the case of the Korean mobile handset industry. World Dev. 39(8): 1358–1371.
  43. Wang, F., Chen, J., Wang, Y., Ning, L., Vanhaverbeke, W.,(2014). The effect of R&D novelty and openness decision on firms' catch-up performance: Empirical evidence from China. Technovation 34:21–30.    
  44. Zhang, Y. and Li, H.,(2010). Innovation search of new ventures in a technology cluster: the role of ties with service /intermediaris, Strategic Management Journal,31:1.