BioAsia 2015 concludes successfully

About 1,350 registered delegates from biotech, healthcare, pharma and IT industries and regulatory bodies, from 50 countries participated

The three-day BioAsia 2015 concluded recently. Reportedly, many significant agreements and memorandum of understandings (MoU) were signed between the government and national as well as international organisations. Thought provoking discussions bringing together a large number of industry leaders and government officials (State/Center and international), regulators and academic experts were part of the event.

The last day of the event started with the inauguration of the healthcare conference by Pradeep Chandra, special chief secretary, Government of Telangana and the keynote address was given by Prof D Prabhakaran, Vice President, Public Health Foundation of India.

The digital health and healthcare IT conference witnessed the participation of medical practitioners, IT experts and technologists. The topic under discussion was – Do you think India is ready for the rapid technological changes shaping healthcare globally? Eminent dignitaries who shared their insightful thoughts with the audience included Sangita Reddy, Joint MD, Apollo Hospitals, India, BVR Mohan Reddy, Founder and Executive Chairman, Cyient and Vice-Chairman of NASSCOM, India and TSY Aravindakshan, National Manager (Industry Solutions) – Health, Microsoft Corporation. Reddy said, “Healthcare is transformed by 3 Bs i.e. biology, bytes and bandwidth. Healthcare is also getting less invasive and more pervasive.”

The speakers for the session on medical fraternity and usage of technology and analytics-driven insight for improving healthcare effectiveness included Srinivas Prasad, Chief Executive Officer, Philips Innovation Campus, India, Dr Prem Kishore V, Global Head Healthcare and Medical Device Practice, Tech Mahindra, India, Ameera Shah, Managing Director Promoter and Chief Executive Officer, Metropolis Healthcare, India to name a few. Martin Kelly, Chief Executive Officer, HealthXL, Ireland also addressed the delegates.

The sessions under Public Health and Access track covered important topics like the efforts to prevent and control NCDs from Government of India, preventing blindness due to diabetes and hypertension, role of corporate in management and prevention of NCDs, bringing clinical research into the next decade: innovations and global strategies, role of information technology to help clinicians and patients for better management of NCDs and DSS in the new healthcare landscape. Experts who shared their thoughts included Prof D Prabhakaran, Vice President, PHFI, Dr Damodar Bachani, Deputy Commissioner (NCDs), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt of India, Dr Nikhil Tandon, Professor and Head – Department of Endocrinology and metabolism, AIIMS, New Delhi.

Shakthi Nagappan, Chief Executive Officer, BioAsia said, “This edition of BioAsia has been instrumental in bringing together the stakeholders of biotech, healthcare, pharma and IT industry. Partnerships like TSIIC and China Medical City and FABA and Thailand Centre of Excellanace for Life Sciences would help each of them resulting better medical facilities for people. Around 1,350 delegates registered at BioAsia 2015 during these three days representing 50 countries.”

Under the clinical research track, a panel discussion was conducted on the Indian regulatory landscape. The discussed points included role of lower cost innovation from Asia/ India, industry’s expectations from the Indian regulatory, key developments in the Indian regulatory landscape in the last few months, simplifying clinical trial approval process at the centre and so on. The panelists included Solomon Yimam, Assistant Country Director, US FDA India Office, India, Maggie Massam, Head of Business Development, Clinical Practices Resource Datalink (CPRD), MHRA, UK, etc.

The session on Indian biosimilar guidelines and the global alignment discussed about the need to have a view on the approach to biosimilars, comparison and contrast between Indian biosimilar guidelines and the global alignment. It also had a roundtable discussion on whether India can be considered as a preferred destination for conducting biosimilar clinical trials. The chairperson for the session was Dr Maurice R Cross, Group Medical Director, Veeda Clinical Research and other speaker was Dr Anand Eswaraiah, Head Clinical Development and Regulatory Affairs, Clinigene International.

The session on Bioequivalence Studies in India focussed on the challenges and solutions for BA-BE studies in India, volunteer safety and compensation, sharing of volunteer database between CROs and Import and export of biological samples. The chairperson for the session was Apurva Shah, Founder and Group Managing Director, Veeda Clinical Research and other speakers were Dr Charu Gautam, Director, Global Clinical Operations, Cliantha Research and Dr Mukesh Agarwal, Vice President, Clinical Research Division, Vimta Labs.

The last session on the challenges and solutions for conducting clinical trial in India deliberated on challenges and solutions for conducting clinical trials in India, restriction of three studies per investigator, certifications of investigators/institutions, video recording of the informed consent process, as well as protocol development and site management to comply with Indian regulators. The speakers included Dr Kiran Marthak, Director, Lambda Therapeutic Research, India, Dr Jeroze Dalal, General Manager, Clinical Operations, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, India and Dr Shariq Anwar, Head Operations, Max Neeman Medical International India.

In the course of the day, the jury also selected the best solutions developed during the first BioAsia Devthon. Three teams were given grants totalling Rs two lakhs for their solutions. Winner teams will be working with BioAsia and Technology Business Incubator (BITS Pilani Hyderabad) to develop their prototypes further. TBI will provide them free incubation services for six months and monitor progress.

BioAsia 2015Shakthi Nagappan