CRAMS: The next big wave

Experts say that, with immense potential and capabilities, next few years will witness CROs focusing on translational research making a bigger contribution to global drug development


Clock wise from top (L-R): Dr Manu Jaggi, vice president (R&D), Dabur Research Foundation; Mr Ajay Bharadwaj, CEO, Anthem Biosciences; Mr Anil Raghavan, managing director, Quintiles India; and Mr Swapan Bhattacharya, managing director, TCG Lifesciences

A recent study based on the analysis of intellectual property generated by Indian CROs suggests a rather discouraging outlook of drug discovery in India. While this is a matter of concern for all, the study does not take into account contract research in preclinical biology and this is where I believe lies a huge opportunity for us. There are only a handful of CROs in India focusing on translational research. With immense potential and capabilities, I believe next few years will witness Indian CROs making a bigger contribution to global drug development.

In the coming year, Dabur Research Foundation (DRF) will strengthen its expertise in the area of human adult stem cells. We will continue to add to our repertoire of animal-free models for evaluating cosmetics. Last but not the least, with the Indian guidelines for developing botanical products round the corner, DRF is well positioned to carry out end-to-end development of botanical products leading to an IND filing.

- Dr Manu Jaggi, vice president (R&D), Dabur Research Foundation

Anthem is on a tremendous growth path at the moment and we expect to see that continuing in the coming year. Our industry is experiencing tough conditions, brought on by the continuing turmoil in big pharmaceutical companies and poor economic health of western economies. Europe is rocking back on its heels, Japan is moribund and the US is in pretty bad shape too. I see a tough environment for new players. Anthem however, has had five years to consolidate its position and we will surpass 50 percent growth this year. We have built a reputation of being a delivery oriented contract research player. We expect this momentum to carry through and make Anthem companies even more sizable players in our space.

The Indian economy should pick up growth and we see a tremendous boost in our business which is domestically focused. We have made new investments in laboratories, manufacturing and products development. With these investments coming on stream in 2013 we expect a significant multiplier effect. In my view the established players should get bigger but the space will continue to be tough for new entrants or "me too" companies.

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