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BioAsia 2018 witnesses investments from Biocon

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Biocon (Syngene) to set up R&D unit in Telangana and generate 1500 new jobs

BioAsia, biotechnology and life-sciences forum and the annual flagship event of the government witnessed investments from India’s largest biopharmaceutical company, Biocon. The Bengaluru-based company will be expanding its current presence in Hyderabad on APIs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) Intermediates to add 500 new jobs. The company will also start an R&D lab of its subsidiary Syngene in Genome Valley, Telangana, which is expected to generate another 1500 high-tech jobs.

Appreciating KT Rama Rao, Minister of Industries & Commerce, Govt of Telangana, Biocon MD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw remarked that she was very impressed with his visionary leadership. She opined that when the industry sees leadership like this, they are motivated to come forward and support them.

Some insightful deliberations by global leaders of life sciences with key note sessions by Professor Michael Hall, Lasker Awardee, Biozentrum, University of Basel, Switzerland, Dr Shreeram Aradhye, Chief Medical Officer, Novartis Pharma, USA and Dr Udit Batra, Member of the Executive Board, CEO Life Science, Merck, Germany also took place.

In his keynote, Hall explained in detail the TOR (Target Of Rapamycin) – TOR signalling, journey of Rapamycine being used in suppressive drugs, anti-fungal drugs and now in cancer drugs to control cell growth. Dr Aradhye emphasised on the role of technology and analytics in improving efficiency in healthcare and thereby improving the longevity and quality of human life. Dr Batra spoke about the low penetration of biologics in India despite the high affordability and increasing availability of biologics. He further elaborated on how Merck’s wide portfolio is helping them exploit the $64-65 billion market in India.

The highlight of Day 2 was the CEO Conclave which explored the key recent developments in the Indian life sciences industry and the actions that manufacturers and the government are taking to ensure holistic growth, with a focus on putting patients first.

The panel was chaired by KT Rama Rao and panelists included Eswara Reddy, Drug Controller General (India); Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, CMD, Biocon, Satish Reddy, Chairman, DRL; Jawed Zia, Country President, Novartis India; Dr Philip Larsen, Head of TA Diabetes Research & German HUB Chief Scientific Officer, Sanofi; Gregory Reh, Vice Chairman, US and Global Life Sciences Sector Leader, Deloitte.

The key themes for Day 2 were (i) Innovation & Exponential Medicine Conference, (ii) Cancer Diagnostics & Biomarkers and (ii) Supply Chain & Logistics in Indian Biopharma.

Under theme (i), Reh chaired the first session on the discussions around how life sciences companies are bolstering R&D pipelines through deal-making, the industry trends and emerging partnership models and the critical role the Asian continent. Sudeep Krishna, Head (Life Sciences), Deloitte conducted a fireside chat on disruption in healthcare and life sciences with Sangita Reddy, Joint MD, Apollo Hospitals and Terri Bresenham, President and CEO, Sustainable Healthcare Solutions – GE Healthcare. Utkarsh Palnitkar, Former Life Sciences Head, KPMG India deliberated on whether India ready to usher in the new era of biologics. Two other panels deliberated on the role of industry, academia, government and service providers in creating an innovative ecosystem in life sciences.

While talking about Hyderabad’s growing prominence as a life sciences and technology hub, KT Rama Rao said, “Hyderabad has an established ecosystem of healthcare and life sciences companies. Out of the 160 US FDA approved companies, more than 60 are located in Hyderabad. Genome Valley 2.0 will focus on innovation in nano-sciences and radiotherapy as well as API manufacturing. Telangana state hopes to leverage its strong position to become the gateway of India for biotechnology and life sciences.”

He further added, “The government needs to incentivize R&D and act as an enabler to companies that are transitioning from chemicals to biologics. It is also important to look at lifesciences as a spectrum and synergies flowing from medical devices to generics and the next.”

Theme (ii) was kicked off by a plenary address on precision oncology, immunotherapy in cancer-current trends, new developments in cancer diagnostic radiology. A session on cancer diagnostics was chaired by Dr Shanthi Naidu, Head of Department, Laboratory Medicine, Care Hospitals.

Under Theme (iii) Prof Devendra Mishra, Co-Founder and Executive Director, BSMA steered the panel discussion on building the supply chain as a core and competency of the indian bio-pharma industry. Prof Devdip Purkayastha, Strategic Business Development, DHL chaired a session on Optimizing Packaging and Transportation and Securing the Best-in-Class Ocean and Airfreight for Biologicals and Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Prasad Deshpande, Vice President & Head, Global Procurement, Supply Chain, and Contract Manufacturing, Biocon Limited deliberated with panelists on Ensuring Product Quality and Integrity in the Emerging Cold Chain Network of Asia. Insights were provided on Revolutionizing Bio-production. Eminent speakers from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation India, Biolog Europe & Reliance Life Sciences also addressed the gathering.

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