Swiss Ambassador Dr. Linus von Castelmur honoured Glenn Saldanha, Chairman & Managing Director, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals with the ‘Swiss Ambassador’s Award for Exceptional Innovation’ for his outstanding innovation-driven leadership on November 29, 2012 at an event organised at the Embassy of Switzerland in New Delhi.
Acknowledging Saldanha’s contributions in the area of innovation Ambassador Dr. Linus von Castelmur said, “Innovation has become the new driving force of Indo-Swiss Partnership and Glenmark is a very good case in point. Glenmark Pharmaceuticals was the first Indian life science enterprise to establish a research and development facility outside India in 2006. Glenmark’s 3’000 sq m state of the art laboratory in La Chaux-de-Fonds employs 60 highly qualified scientists.”
In his acceptance speech Saldanha said, “I am deeply honoured to receive the Swiss Ambassador’s Award for exceptional innovation. This award is even more meaningful because it’s being presented by a country which is one of the leading innovation research destinations for the pharmaceutical industry, offering the best combination of infrastructure and talent for new drug discovery research. This has been demonstrated by the success achieved by Glenmark in Switzerland.”
Saldanha added, “Glenmark’s novel Biologics Research Centre at Neuchatel, Switzerland has been doing some cutting edge research work in the area of novel biologics which resulted in our company signing a landmark agreement with Sanofi of France. This was the first outlicencing deal executed by an Indian company and the largest deal across emerging markets in the area of novel biologics. Innovation leading to new drugs is critical to meeting the global unmet medical need and recognitions like these inspire us to continue our work in the area of innovation or drug discovery research.”
Earlier in his laudatory speech Ranjit Shahani, President of Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI) expressed that it has been Saldanha’s endeavour to serve people with low-cost medication. He has personally focused his energies on research in therapeutic areas such as pain, inflammation and oncology. He remarked that Glenmark is one of the few Indian companies to have developed and licensed out six molecules to what is popularly known as Big Pharma.
The Swiss Ambassador’s Award recognises individuals who have contributed to the promotion of Indo-Swiss bilateral relations or have stood out for their exceptional role in the society and industry. Swiss Ambassador’s Award 2011 for exce year 2010 was preseptional leadership was conferred on Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Group and the award for thented to Yash Chopra for his remarkable contribution to Indo- Swiss people to people relations through his movies.
EP News Bureau, Mumbai