#BioAsia2020: India’s Pharma & Biotech Industry aims $100 billion through innovations

Speaking on the 2nd day of BioAsia 2020, Union Minister Mr Piyush Goyal said that the patent applications will be approved in record time to enable the industry to discover innovative drugs

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Eminent leaders at the CEO Conclave held on day 2 of BioAsia 2020.

Hyderabad: BioAsia, the Asia’s largest Biotechnology and Life Sciences forum being held at Hyderabad, has in its second day, witnessed high profile deliberations and discussions on hot current topics of the global life sciences industry.

The highlight of the day was CEO Conclave chaired by Mr Piyush Goyal, Minister for Commerce and Industry, Government of India moderated by Mr KT Rama Rao, Minister for Industries and Commerce, Government of Telangana. The industry stalwarts and eminent panelists including Dr Vas Narasimhan, CEO, Novartis, Switzerland, Mr. Dilip Shanghvi, MD, Sun Pharma, Mr. Satish Reddy, Chairman, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Mr Ajay Piramal, Chairman, Piramal Group and Mr Jan Van Acker, President, Emerging Markets, Human Health, MSD Pharma discussed and deliberated on ‘Playing catch-up or preparing to lead?’ of the CEOs, by the CEOs’.

The discussions focused on the fact that being a leader in generics, how can India leverage its strengths in generics, vaccines and tech industry to win the race further. They suggested as to where should India place its bet to compete against the likes of China, Israel etc., and what should be India’s long-term sustainability strategy in the evolving geopolitical and regulatory environment etc.

Replying to a question being asked by Mr KT Rama Rao, the Hon’ble Union Minister on ‘where does the minister see Indian pharma and biotech industry to grow at a time when India is aiming to become $ 5 Trillion economy by 2025, Mr Piyush Goyal said that the Indian pharma and biotech industry is expected to grow to $100 billion from the current size of about $40 billion, growing at 10% CAGR, despite the recent Corona virus outbreak. He further said that the Government of India was looking at supporting the industry to redefining the future of pharma and biotech in the country to make it more thrive by enabling them to get the patent approvals granted in a record period of time worldwide. Mr Piyush Goyal also advocated that the price controls in India worked huge in favour of the people of the country and reiterated that price controls on drugs and medical devices would remain for the benefit of the society.

During the discussion, Mr KT Rama Rao highlighted the issues of price controls, withdrawal of incentives and delay and lack of coordination between the state and the central government agencies. Mr Piyush Goyal assured the industry and the minister that he would conduct a meeting during the second week of March 2020 to address all the issues pertaining to the industry by meeting the leaders of the industry.

Prior to the CEO Conclave, the prestigious Genome Valley Excellence Award 2020 has been bestowed to Dr Vas Narasimhan, CEO, Novartis in a glittering ceremony. Followed by this event, Dr Vas has delivered his keynote address on ‘Blockbuster to niche-buster – igniting innovation across healthcare’. While delivering his award acceptance speech, Dr Vas Narasimhan revealed that his grand parents hailed from Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh and his parents also from India. He informed that with 6,000 employees, Novartis Hyderabad centre is the second largest for his company which is playing a pivotal role in bringing the latest innovations with the support of technology that could solve many problems of the world. Mr. Vas announced the launch of ‘Biome India’, a digital innovation hub at its Hyderabad’s centre, first time in Asia.

During a morning session, the prestigious Genome Valley Excellence Award 2020 winner Dr Carl H June, the pioneer of CAR-T Cell Therapy for Cancer treatment, delivered his keynote address on ‘Era of Living Medicine – from pills to cell and gene therapies – journey so far, and the future ahead’ in which he elaborated how CAR-T therapy has led to a new paradigm in cancer treatment which has the potential to treat many more diseases in the coming future and explained how can we bring these sort of individualized therapies accessible to the masses in a fireside chat with Ms Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, CMD, Biocon Ltd. In this chat, the speaker and the moderator discussed the issues related to price and how to make the revolutionary therapies available in the price sensitive countries like India. They also debated on the role of Government, Academia and Industry in collaborating each other to bring innovative therapies to the people at large.

In the wake of Corona virus outbreak in China, a session on ‘Affordable innovations to better tackle global health emergencies’, Dr Peter Piot, Director of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, highlighted the issues, challenges and opportunities involved in effectively handling the global health emergencies. Dr Piot elaborated the Corona virus outbreak that caused sixth global emergency in the past decade and how to prepare ourselves to manage the emergency proactively. Dr Piot is the Co-Discoverer of the Ebola virus and a former Under Secretary General of United Nations. Dr Peter Piot revealed that HIV is the most dangerous attack on humans in the last one decade which is still taking 8,00,000 lives every year and Ebola caused to 11,000 deaths in Western Africa.

According to him, like in many epidemics Corona could also stop infecting more people before even we develop a vaccine to it. However, he expected that the vaccine for Corona could be developed by the end of this year if the current research yields desired results. Unless the new set of antibiotics are developed, the world could see 10 million deaths by 2050, he warned.

Commenting on the ongoing sessions of BioAsia, Mr Shakthi Nagappan, CEO, BioAsia, Director, Telangana Life Sciences said, “We are so excited and very much happy to witness the fruitful and meaningful deliberations that were held across the sessions during the second day of the 3-day global bio-business forum. We strongly believe that these deliberations will pave the way for further innovations, collaborations and business tie-ups among the prospective business individuals and companies across the world who have been part of this wonderful global bio-business convention”.

Post lunch, an important panel discussion held on ‘Collaborative R&D – Unlocking the potential of Public Private Partnership’ where eminent panellists like Mr Jonathan Hunt, CEO, Syngene International, Dr Subodh Deshmukh, Global Head of Product Development, Sandoz, Dr Srinivas S Rao, Global Head, Translational in vivo models global research platform, Sanofi, USA, Krishna Kanumuri, CEO and MD, Sai Life Sciences Ltd, Prof Govardhan Mehta, Distinguished Professor, School of Chemistry, University of Hyderabad among others participated. Dr Ajit Shetty, Corporate VP – Global Operations, J&J, USA (Retd.) moderated the session.

In an another important session on ‘What’s next for the Indian Life Sciences Industry’, the eminent panellists including Mr A Vaidheesh, VP South Asia & MD, GSK, Dr Krishna Ella, CMD, Bharat Biotech, Dr Satyanarayana Chava, Founder and CEO, Laurus Labs, Mr Rehan Khan, MD, MSD Pharmaceuticals, Dr Sudarshan Jain, Secretary General, Indian Pharma Alliance (IPA), Mr Suresh Pattathil, CEO, Ferring Pharmaceuticals deliberated on the future of Indian Life Sciences sector where Mr Peter Behner, EY Global Health Sciences and Wellness Transactions Leader moderated the session.