• 7 October 2010
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Indians win Indo-UK Biotech Challenge 2010

Dr Shivprakash Rathnam, 
CEO of Synchron Research Services
Monika Verma,
CEO of Avancé Phytotherapies
Dr Ashwani Nangia,
Professor of Chemistry, University of Hyderabad
The Indian science team wins the prestigious Indo-UK Biotechnology Challenge 2010. The event was held at Nottingham University on September 3, 2010 at the
inaugural function of Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences Conference, in the UK. The event was organized jointly by Nottingham Business School, IIM, Bangalore, and IIT, Kanpur.

The Indian team included Prof  Ashwani Nangia from Hyderabad Central University; Monika Verma, CEO of Avance Phytotherapies, Ahmedabad; and Dr Shivprakash Rathnam, CEO of Synchron Research Services, Ahmedabad. The team presented their proposal entitled ‘chalk2salt’, that basically involves converting the physico-chemically poor drugs into better drugs, with improved properties for better therapeutic value.

Dr Russell becomes president of Gene Logic
US-based Gene Logic, an Ocimum Biosolutions company, a leading provider of genomic solutions with operations in Hyderabad, has announced the appointment of Dr Norrie J W Russell as its president.

With more than 30 years of experience in drug discovery, Dr Russell has vast experience in driving innovation in pharmaceutical discovery and development. He also has experience in leading entrepreneurial biotechnology companies, raising capital, and developing pioneering new technologies. Before joining Gene Logic, Dr Russell has held leadership roles with NovaRx, Invitrogen, Aviva Biosciences, and Lynx Therapeutics.

Prior to moving to the US, Dr Russell had a long career at AstraZeneca, where he was the global head of Biological Science and Technology, with responsibility for the application of genomics, genetics and proteomics to both target discovery and the entire R&D process.

Stempeutics appoints Dr Majumdar as CSO
Stempeutics Research, a group company of Manipal Education and Medical Group, has appointed Dr Anish Sen Majumdar as the Chief Scientific Officer (CSO). Dr Majumdar will lead all the research activities that are done at Stempeutics. He will also guide the research team in various experiments conducted, to achieve the desired results.

Dr Majumdar brings with him an in-depth knowledge and rich experience in the field of stem cell research, from both India and abroad. Prior to joining Stempeutics, Dr Majumdar worked with the Reliance Life Sciences Center as vice president. His responsibility there included developing and directing R&D activities in the areas of both embryonic and adult stem cells, including mesenchymal stem cells, ocular stem cells and other somatic cells for therapeutic use in various types of degenerative diseases.

Dr Poonawalla gets PAHO, PAHEF award

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF) have presented Dr Cyrus S Poonawalla, chairman and managing director of Serum Institute of India, with the award for ‘Excellence in Inter-American Public Health’, making him the first Indian to get this prestigious honor.

Dr Poonawalla received this award from Dr Mirta Roses Periago, director of PAHO for his extraordinary contribution to eliminate rubella and congenital rubella syndrome in the US.

Prior to this award, Serum Institute and its chairman, Dr Poonawalla were honored with the Humanitarian Award by Sabin Vaccine Institute, US, for providing quality vaccines at affordable prices.

Ecron Acunova gets new CFO
DA Prasanna, founder & chairman of Ecron Acunova (EA), a clinical research organization (CRO), with presence in Europe and India, has announced the appointment of Lalit Kanta Mahapatra as chief financial officer (CFO) of EA.

Mahapatra will be based in Bangalore, and will be responsible for controllership, financial management and financial integration of business, across services and geographies.

Reporting to the chairman of the board, he will manage shareholders expectations, oversee corporate governance and lead the merger and acquisitions (M&A) activities of the company.

Prior to joining EA, Mahapatra worked with Schneider Electric Company as head of finance of the global technology center and the project contracting business. He was part of their global acquisition team, and was instrumental in acquiring companies in India and Europe.

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