15th edition of BioAsia 2018 concludes with highest ever participation

This time the event witnessed highest ever participation of 1,757 delegates from bioscience sector besides 1,250 partnering meetings conducted on the sidelines leading to key strategic decisions

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(File Photo) BioAsia 2018.

Hyderabad: BioAsia, the annual flagship event of the Government of Telangana concluded after three days of insightful deliberations by global leaders of biosciences.

This year, the 15th edition witnessed highest ever participation of 1,757 delegates from healthcare, biotech, pharma, life-sciences, IT, academia and startups representing over 52 countries with 100 high profile speakers and 500 Corporates. Around 1,250 partnering meetings were conducted on the sidelines of the event leading to key strategic decisions.

At a fireside chat, Mr Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Mr K T Rama Rao, Minister of Industries and Commerce, Government of Telangana deliberated on the future of the pharmaceutical industry and the opportunities that lie ahead in the domestic and international markets. Mr Prabhu said “India has become the pharma capital of the world and is helping many countries with affordable drugs and vaccines. Our industry should be positioned to take advantage of new technology and changing demographics.”

In the course of 3 days of BioAsia 2018, Mr KT Rama Rao had several positive discussions with leaders from renowned lifesciences companies including Merck & Co, Biocon, GE Healthcare, Chemo Group and others. While commenting on the success of BioAsia 2018, Mr Rao said, “The 15th edition of BioAsia saw tremendous traction and some significant issues on lifesciences being deliberated. Telangana state also had the opportunity to host and strengthen its relationship with several lifesciences companies. A number of recommendations in terms of policy recommendations, initiatives, etc have emerged from the discussions I have had with the Industry Leaders and we are committed to pursuing these with the Government of India to enable an environment that compliments growth for the sector.”

Mr Shakthi Nagappan, Director of Life Sciences, Govt. of Telangana and CEO, BioAsia said, “The highest number of delegation attendance this year in its journey of 15 years, is a testimony to BioAsia’s stature as the biggest lifesciences congregation in Asia. The event saw a large delegation from regulatory agencies like FDA, MHRA and EMA. We look forward to crossing further milestones in 2019.”

Earlier in the day, Dr Sanat Chattopadhyay, Executive Vice President and President (Manufacturing), Merck & Co. Inc., US, in his keynote, gave a brief overview of Merck’s business including research and innovation. Speaking on the pharmaceutical market in India he said, “India continues to be an attractive industry with strong growth and currently leads the world in biogenerics. However, pricing pressure, challenges in global R&D, technology, regulatory & supply chain will continue to remain in the industry.”

The key themes for Day 3 were (i) Evolving Regulations Conference, (ii) Digital Health, Analytics & Artificial Intelligence.

Under theme (i), a session on Emerging applications of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals – FDA perspectives was conducted by USFDA. This session highlighted the proactive efforts of USFDA and readiness to help ensure the safety of the next generation of pharmaceutical & biotechnology products, including cell and gene therapy products. In a session on Global Regulator’s playbook for quality and compliance in Manufacturing & Computerized systems panelists Mr. Andrei Spinei – Scientific Administrator, Manufacturing & Quality Compliance, Committees & Inspection Department, EMA, UK, Mr. Sachin Bhandari – Head CSV, Sun Pharmaceuticals and others discussed issues that are driving changes in the regulatory environment and practices for manufacturers to adapt and respond effectively. Another panel discussion on the regulatory landscape was chaired by Mr. Gerald W Heddell – Director, Inspection Enforcement & Standards Division, MHRA, UK.

Under theme (ii) an insightful session called Beyond the Pill saw industry experts discussing various ways of levering the power of analytics to mine data and aid in decision-making for patient outcomes, predictive analytics, and health economics. Mr. Anubhav Asthana, Managing Director – Consulting, Deloitte steered the conversation with leaders from IBM, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Tech Mahindra and Medanta Medicity. The second session on collaboration between Pharma companies and HealthTech companies was chaired by Mr. Mahadevan Narayanamoni, Senior Advisor, TPG Growth. The theme was concluded with a panel on Funding the Next Wave of Growth in Healthcare. The panelists, a mix of start-ups and investors discussed the sub-sectors and segments drawing the most attention, and what investors are looking for in a digital health start-up.

The Start-Up Session which included an esteemed panel of Mr Vinod Seshan IAS, Secretary, Science & Tech Dept, Govt of Assam & CEO, Guwahati Biotech Park, Mr. Ajit Rangnekar, Director General, RICH and Mr. Jay Krishnan, CEO, T-Hub.

BioAsia 2018 also recognized six start-ups from the healthcare industry as “6 start-ups to look forward to”. An eminent jury consisting of IIIT (Hyd), IKP Knowledge Park and LV Prasad Eye Institute chose 30 start-ups from close to 200 applications, out of which the top 6 were showcased.

ATGC Biotech Pvt. Ltd (SPLAT- A wax pheromone based insect family planning tool – Hyderabad based), Next Big Innovation Labs Pvt Ltd (3D Bioprinting – services company for 3D scaffolds and 3D Tissues), TestRight (SpectroSmart – Pocket Spectrophotometer), Peregrine Innovations (Powered Prosthetic Leg),
Docturnal Private Limited (A non-invasive screening tool for lung based ailments leveraging aural, clinical & demographic inputs over machine/deep learning while providing real time results – Hyderabad based), TruKare (Connecting Global Patients to Best Doctors, Hospitals and Treatments in India – Hyderabad based).

The event had attendance from the investor community including, Tenacity (Silicon Valley), TPG Growth Partners, Unitus Seed Fund, Venture East, Parampara, Spark Capital, etc.

In its journey of 15 years BioAsia has provided platform to initiate partnerships totalling $ 2.5 Billion (INR 15,000 Crores). Over 16,250 business meetings have been organized at BioAsia in last 15 years and delegates from over 90 countries have participated in BioAsia so far.