Dr Raj Singh, president and chief executive officer
Vivo Biosciences started its R&D operations in India at Lucknow Biotech Park in 2008 via funding from Toucan Capital, USA. Using its patented HuBiogel technology, the company has developed a series of new 3-D or tissue-like assay models emulating the biology of both normal and disease states. These novel human bioassay platforms are expected to accelerate drug discovery, preclinical and biomedical research.
BioSpectrum in a Q & A session with Dr Raj Singh, president and CEO, Vivo Biosciences discussed about the focus of its research & services, collaborations, operations in India, future outlook and much more.
Q: What are the reasons that made you to choose Lucknow biotech park for your operations? What are your current activities at the park?
A: After positive meetings with director general, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and officials at department of biotechnology (DBT), Vivo Biosciences India facility is planned at Lucknow Biotech Park. We are also appreciative of efforts of Dr. PK Seth, CEO, Lucknow Biotech Park for initiating research collaborations and drug discovery services with several Indian institutions. The company has taken 6,000 sq ft built up facility with lab/office space in the park for its operations along with its sister concern Cognate Bioservices. Along with office space, new lab facility and operational plan are in progress.
Vivo has showcased its innovative technology at many national and international conferences, especially exhibited at BIO-India pavilion for past 2 years. Current R&D activity is focused on oncology and tissue toxicity services for academic, private and government customers.
Q: What kind of collaborations have you entered in India as well as internationally?
A: The new collaborations in India involve metabolic, genomics and infectious disease research with Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), Institute of Genomics & Integrative Biology (IGIB), New Delhi and CMC Hospital, Vellore. We are also actively exploring joint venture opportunity for business expansion with Indian, Europe and US biotech companies (signed CDA with 3 interested parties). Vivo has entered into product distribution partnership with Roche, Germany and Global Cell Solutions, USA and has negotiated co-marketing agreement with CROs (Southern Research, Jubilant Biosys, HuMurine). Multiple contracts have been completed or in progress for oncology services with large pharma companies such as Merck, J&J, OSI and Novartis.