• 12 April 2011
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BioSpectrum Asia Pacific Life Sciences Forum & BioSpectrum Asia


Singapore, March 16, 2011
Special Report

BioSpectrum organized the Asia Pacific Life Sciences Forum with the objective of providing a thought-sharing platform for the life sciences companies across the region

Asia on the growth curve
Mr Narayanan Suresh, chief editor, BioSpectrum


Anchoring the Forum, Mr Narayanan Suresh, chief editor, BioSpectrum, kick-started the discussion by quoting Steven Burrill, CEO, Burrill & Company, and said, “Partnerships will continue to grow, particularly with companies in biopharma space. This trend will continue and most of the collaboration will take place in Asia and Latin America. The deals will continue to happen but there will be a change in the way that partnerships are going to happen.”





Dr Yusuf K Hamied, CMD, Cipla, India
Giving a deeper insight into the South East Asian market, Dr Yusuf K Hamied, CMD, Cipla, India, said, “One must realize that intellectual property plays an important role in the pharmaceutical industry and it is a main issue in India and China. In the last 50 years, not one single new chemical entity has emanated from the South and hence the “balance of IP” is very important. If Asia has to emerge at the global level, it can be either done by joining hands with multinational companies, as many are doing or the government of Asian countries should bring in a compulsory licensing system and we pay royalty to the originators and make generic version of important drugs for our country.”

Strategic alliances
The first panel discussion was centered on 'strategic alliance' and comprised panelists including Mr Carl Firth, CEO and founder, Aslan Pharmaceuticals, Singapore, Mr Dan Devine, CEO, Patrys, Australia and Dr Yap Kok Wei, CEO, Gleneagles CRC.

Sharing his thoughts on the aspects that lead to the necessity of a partnership, Dr Yap Kok Wei mentioned that additional funding for marketing and distribution of a product is often an open space for merging. “When a growing company merges with a big company, it gets support to stand and survive in the industry and develop its projects in the pipeline,” he opined.

Mr Carl Firth believes that alliances catch the attention of the industry, and said, “Today the exciting deals are taking place in the field of R&D that can accelerate drug development capabilities of Asia. Partnerships like Bristol-Myers Squibb with Simcere, a Chinese biotech company, lead to faster drug development.”

Mr Dan Devine said, “Each one of our molecules for cancer is different and when we go for a partnership, we convince our investors about the worth of investing. It is difficult to navigate the landscape when there are multiple drugs in the pipeline in oncology and to convince the investor about the benefit of your own product amid the stiff competition. We tend to be accelerating to clinical trial quicker, and that is why partnerships become extremely important in oncology. The main concern is to raise capital and we are always balancing the act. So we have to be sensible when the partnership goes hand in hand. Before partnering, the partners should be honest to each other instead of spending much time on negotiations.”

Dr Yap Kok Wei, CEO, Gleneagles CRC
Mr Carl Firth, CEO, Aslan Pharmaceuticals, Singapore (left) and Mr Dan Devine, CEO, Patrys, Australia (right)

Sustainable business models
Taking the discussion ahead, Mr David Picard, CEO, Moleac, Singapore, Dr Muhammad Tani Bin Tabiin, senior vice president, Biomedical Sciences Division, Exploit Technologies, Singapore and Dr Lex Lee, VP, Medical  Affairs, Pharmigene, Taiwan shared their perspective on 'sustainable business model'.

Dr Tani said that A*STAR is working to promote small and big biotech companies in Singapore through a well co-ordinated effort between different technology and financial agencies in the country.

Mr Picard, giving example of Moleac, opined that successful business can be executed by innovative products and technologies. He said, “Moleac plays an innovative role in identifying products from traditional Chinese medicine to address the gaps in the West.”

Dr Lee, from Pharmigene, emphasized on the philosophy that good ideas are generated from all corners of the world. He said, “Asia offers a complete portfolio of innovation and there is a need for infrastructure to develop good ideas into great investments.”

Mr Narayanan Suresh, chief editor, BioSpectrum (left) and Mr David Picard, CEO, Moleac, Singapore (right) Dr Muhammad Tani Bin Tabiin, Sr. VP, Biomedical Sciences Division, Exploit Technologies, Singapore (left) and Dr Lex Lee, VP, Medical  Affairs, Pharmigene, Taiwan (right)

Awards Nite Rocks

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