• 8 January 2008
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BioSpectrum honors biotech stalwarts

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BioSpectrum honors biotech stalwarts

The Fifth Annual BioSpectrum Awards nite was held at the The Leela Palace Kempinski, Bangalore, on December 21, 2007. The BioSpectrum Awards were started in 2003. The objective was to recognize the outstanding contributors to the biotech sector in the country and honor them. The awards were selected by a panel of eminent people, who came from various backgrounds, and represented diverse sections of the industry. The selection panel was constituted in the last week of September. After having preliminary discussions on the nominations and criteria for BioSpectrum 2007 Awards selection, the jury members met in Bangalore on October 16, 2007 and made their final choice.

At a glittering function, Shyam Malhotra, editor-in-chief of BioSpectrum presented the BioSpectrum Person of the Year 2007 award to Varaprasad Reddy, managing director of Shantha Biotechnics for pioneering a biotech wave and making a societal impact by launching life saving vaccines and therapeutics at affordable cost. Reddy is also a Padma Bhushan awardee.

The co-founder and chairman of Strand Life Sciences, Dr Vijay Chandru, was acknowledged as the Entrepreneur of the Year 2007. In his video-recorded acceptance speech (he has gone to Boston to undergo follow up treatment for the gunshot wounds he suffered during the terrorist attack at the Indian Institute of Science two years ago), Dr Chandru said genomics is poised to take off as an industry worldwide and this will, in turn, revive the bioinformatics sector in which his company is a participant.

The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Dr Pushpa Mittra Bhargava, former director of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB). Thanks to Dr Bhargava's untiring efforts, CCMB is today as one of the most well-known biotech research centers in the world. Dr Bhargava has spent over four decades in biotech development in India and is a recipient of several prestigious awards including the Padma Bhushan.

The other awards declared included:

BioPharma Company of the Year:
Serum Institute of India, Pune

BioAgri Company of the Year:
Rasi Seeds, (Attur, Salem district, Tamil Nadu)

BioServices Company of the Year:
Syngene (a Biocon group company)

Bio-Industrial Company of the Year:
Novozymes, Bangalore

BioSupplier of the Year:
ThermoFisher Scientific, Mumbai

Biocon's BIOMAb EGFR bagged the Product of the Year award. BIOMAb EGFR is a therapeutic monoclonal antibody-based drug for treating solid tumors of epithelial origin such as head and neck cancers. Gujarat bagged the Biotech State of the Year award.

Speaking on the occasion, Shyam Malhotra said, "This award function is a special occasion for us at CyberMedia also as we have completed a quarter century of reporting the emergence of a knowledge nation. Starting with just one magazine-Dataquest, 25 years ago, we have grown into South Asia's largest specialty publication and B2B media group with 15 titles. Our journey and growth till now has been synonymous with the evolution of the IT and telecom sectors in India. Going ahead, we hope to repeat the same experience with the growth of the biotechnology industry in the country."

E Abraham Mathew, president, Chief Editor, BioSpectrum, added, "CyberMedia is also the first Indian media house to have ventured outside the country to serve a global audience by publishing two magazines-BioSpectrum Asia from Singapore and Global Services from the US."

N Suresh, group editor of BioSpectrum, recalled that from its first issue, the magazine had been pursuing the idea of a National Biotechnology Policy. He thanked the biotech industry for all the support in chronicling and commenting on the developments of this Rs 8,300-crore industry.

Dr Samir K Brahmachari, director general, CSIR, presenting the Life Time Achievement award to Dr PM Bhargava, former director of CCMB, Hyderabad.

Dr Varaprasad Reddy, MD, Shantha Biotechnics, receiving the Person of the Year award from Shyam Malhotra,
editor-in-chief, BioSpectrum.

Dr Ramesh Hariharan, co-founder of Strand Life Sciences receives the Entrepreneur of the Year award on behalf of Dr Vijay Chandru, CMD, Strand Life Sciences, from Dr Villoo Morawala-Patell, chairman, Avesthagen.


Dr Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, CMD, Biocon, receives the BioProduct of the Year award for BIOMAb EGFR from Dr Cyrus S Poonawalla, chairman, Serum Institute of India.

Akshay Kumar Saxena, director, Gujarat State Biotechnology Mission, receiving the State of the Year award from Dr KK Narayanan, president, ABLE.

R Rajendran of Rasi Seeds receiving the BioAgri Company of the Year award from Dr B Mahishi of Acharya Group of Institutions, Bangalore.

Dr Cyrus S Poonwalla of Serum Institute of India receives the BioPharma Company of the Year award from Dhiren Wagle, country manager, Bio-Rad Laboratories.

GS Krishnan of Novozymes receiving the BioIndustrial Company of the Year award from Anil Mathur, COO,
Godrej Interio.

Goutam Das, COO, Syngene, receiving the BioServices Company of the Year award from Dhiren Wagle.

Dr G Ramakrishnan, MD, Thermo Fisher Scientific, receiving the BioSupplier of the Year award from S Ramesh Raju, executive director, Oxford College of Science.

Key sponsors of BioSpectrum Awards 2007

Bio-Rad Laboratories

Bio-Rad Laboratories is a manufacturer and distributor of a broad range of products for the life science research and clinical diagnostics markets. Headquartered in Gurgaon, Haryana, it has regional offices in Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Serum Institute of India

Serum Institute of India is the world's largest producer of measles and DTP group of vaccines. It was founded in 1966 to manufacture life-saving immuno-biologicals. Its products have been used in 140 countries.

Godrej Interio

Godrej Interio provides end-to-end solutions for all laboratory furniture needs with offerings such as work benches, instrument benches, anti-vibration tables chemical storage cabinets, fume hoods and fume extractors, accessories like sinks, faucets, valves, electrical fixtures pegboards and water, gas, electrical fuel service lines.

The Oxford College of Science

Founded in 1974 by S Narasa Raju, the Oxford Educational Institutions provides education from primary level to PG level in the academic fields of teacher's training, management, hospitality, industry, science, engineering, IT, nursing, pharmacy, physiotherapy, dental education and medical courses.

Acharya Institute of Sciences

Established in the year 2000, with a focus on Biotechnology, Acharya Institute today is a hub of education in Biotechnology. It has established a research, training and consultancy cell to provide ample opportunities for the staff and students to take up research and consultancy tasks with industries.

The Amity Institute of Biotechnology

The Amity Institute of Biotechnology (AIB) is developing as one of the biggest business and entrepreneurial centers in Asia. It was established in August 2001. Amity helps in developing interdisciplinary and professional skills in its students along with imbibing ethical and moral values in them.

Panacea Biotec

Panacea Biotec is a research based health management company involved in research, manufacturing and marketing of branded pharmaceutical formulations, vaccines and natural products. Commencing fiscal 2008, the company plans for international marketing of novel NDDS based pharmaceutical formulation products to the US, UK, Germany, France, Latin American countries and Italy.


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