• 15 March 2011
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China, Iran step-up presence at Bio Asia

The eighth edition of Bio Asia conference recorded the highest number of participation from 38 countries for the first time with India getting a major share of focus

Dr J Geeta Reddy, Minister for Major Industries, Sugar, Commerce and Export Promotion of Andhra Pradesh presenting the Genome Valley Excellence Award to Dr Anji Reddy, chairman, Dr Reddy's Laboratories; while (L-R) Dr Roger Williams, CEO, USP; Dr Jun Yu, associate director, Beijing Institute of Genomics; Dr Abbas S Lofti, director general, NIGEB, Republic of Iran; and Prof Seyed E Hasnaian, chairman, AP Biotech Advisory Council, look on.

Bio Asia 2011 was inaugurated by Dr Geetha Reddy, Minister for Major Industries, Sugar, Commerce and Export Promotion, Andhra Pradesh. The minister also launched four main projects such as Lonza R&D and manufacturing facilities; Sri Bio Integrated Discovery Center, a unit for stem cell banking and research from Pacific Hospitals; Tran-Scell Biologics; and Lepakshi Knowledge Hub.

About 400 business meetings were organized as part of the event and over 1,500 people visited the exhibition center. This year, the Genome Valley Excellence Awards were presented to Dr Anji Reddy, chairman, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, for his contribution to the life sciences industry; and the Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, for its exemplary work and contributions in the field of genomics.

For the first time, 20 delegates from Iran and equal number of delegates from China participated in the event. After the release of the white paper, 'The Asian Promise', prepared by Grant Thornton, the knowledge partner of the event, country presentations were made by delegates from all across Asia.

Commenting on the growth of biotechnology sector in Asia, Mr Mahadeven Narayanamoni, partner and healthcare leader, Grant Thornton, said, “With the growing interest from government and private players, the Indian biotech sector has a promissing future. The Asian biotech sector witnessed 43 M&As and private equity deals worth $121 million (550 crore) and 93 alliances/ collaborations in 2010. It is estimated that the bioagri and bioservices sectors will witness more collaborations and gain more contract research opportunities.

Inviting foreign companies to invest and collaborate in China, Mr Yang Weigang, deputy director general, Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission, said, “There are more opportunities for partnership and collaboration. The biopharma market in China was estimated at $179 billion (810,000 crore) in 2010”.

In his address, Prof Abbas S Lotfi, director general, National Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Tehran, Iran, said that Iran is open for collaboration/ partnership with Indian biotechnology companies.

Acknowledging the advancements in biotech, Mr ESL Narasimhan, Governor of Andhra Pradesh awarded YSR Innovation award to Ms Chaitanya Reddy of Vishnu Dental College, for the project 'Manually operated mobile air compressor' for use in the dentistry and the BioAsia Young Minds Award was given to Mr Vignesh Sridharan from Chennai. The Iranian Biotech of Republic of Iran received the best Trade Show Award with first runner up being Sri Biotech from Hyderabad and second runner up, Lab links Biotech, Bangalore.

The ninth edition of the event is scheduled for February 09-11, 2012.

Suchithra Pillai
in Hyderabad

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