• 16 August 2012
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“Urgent need for redefining IPR strategy”

“India stands one among the top 10 league of countries in the Global Innovation Efficiency Index which shows the countries that are best in transforming the given innovation inputs into innovation outputs,” said Chaitanya Prasad, controller general of patents, designs and trade marks, Government of India, while quoting the latest report -Global Innovation Index 2012.

Slugnews Speaking on 'IP rights ecosystem in India' at the 5th Annual Innovation and Intellectual Property Symposium organized by GE India Technology Center, Bangalore, in collaboration with the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), Chaitanya said that in India, over 75 percent of the patents are filed by foreign applicants and rest by the local applicants. Hence there is a need for large scale awareness campaigns, education on commercialization of IP and focus on patent protection.

The symposium focused on the evolution of the Indian innovation ecosystem and addressed the challenges in the current IP ecosystem in India. The symposium provided a platform for industry experts to discuss about the next steps that can be taken to strengthen and encourage innovation at all levels.

During his speech on the concept of the 'National IPR Strategy', Hemant Singh, chairman, IPR Council of ASSOCHAM India said, “The growth rate of patent filings in India has increased by five percent since 2005. However, with India being one of the fastest growing innovation hubs of the world, we have innumerable opportunities for us to tap.”

Himalaya launches HiOwna-Jr. for kids

Hiownajrgroup200g300x20 The Himalaya Drug Company recently launched HiOwna-Jr., a prescription-based nutritional supplement for kids, that promotes physical and mental growth. Marking its entry into the $1.5 billion nutraceuticals market in India, this is first of Himalaya's products to be launched.

HiOwna-Jr is mainly directed towards urban families with kids who are fussy eaters. The supplement contains 13 essential vitamins and nine minerals. Keeping in line with Himalaya's product philosophy, it contains Ayurvedic ingredients such as Ragi (finger millet), that improves nutritive status; Maricha (black pepper), a bio-availability enhancer; Mandukaparni (centella), a cerebral activator; and Amalaki (Indian Gooseberry), an immunity enhancer. The supplement will also be the first in India to be introduced with pea protein.

In order to make the supplement more attractive towards its target population, HiOwna-Jr. has been launched in two flavors-strawberry and chocolate.

GLS research facility gets DSIR recognition

Chennai-based bioinformatics and biomarker company, Genome Life Sciences (GLS) recently received recognition for its in-house R&D facility from the Department Of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) under the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, New Delhi.

This recognition speaks of Genome Life Science's excellent track record of world class research and technology development in the areas of next generation biomarker research using its patented technology, Functional Genomic Fingerprinting (FGF) and also into bioinformatics product development.

According to Dr Narinder Singh, head, technology innovation and commercializing research, GLS, “In a country like India, where bioinformatics and biomarker research is in infancy stage, this recognition is a boost to Genome Life Science to promote further research in biomarker and bioinformatics and collaborate with other national and international institutions of excellence.”

GLS' R&D facility is to address the speedier development of next generation biomarkers using FGF printing technology from various sources and evolve clinically meaningful research outputs, diagnostic product development and plant molecular marker for rapid crop breeding programs.

The company is in advanced stages of license agreement and knowledge-sharing tie-up with various MNCs in pharma and agri-biotechnology companies, which will give them access to GLS' expertise and technology in biomarker research programs.

Cellworks, AstraZeneca join in TB deal

In a bid to accelerate TB research, AstraZeneca and Cellworks have announced a collaboration, creation of platforms and approaches to handle multi drug resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB). This collaboration, supported by the Wellcome Trust, will aim to speed the design of novel combination therapies for the treatment of drug-sensitive and resistant tuberculosis.

Slugnews Bangalore-based Cellworks is a private, venture-backed biopharmaceutical therapeutic design and development company. Cellworks will use its proprietary predictive platform, which it pioneered in oncology and autoimmune disorders, to model drug MDR-TB and rationally identify 'synergistic combinations' that might have the highest efficacy and lowest possible toxic burden compared to all currently available combinations. AstraZeneca will then validate the top ten most effective combinations identified by Cellworks in-vitro in its laboratories, followed by validation using in-vivo model.

Both Dr Anand Anandkumar, MD, Cellworks Group India and Dr Manos Perros, head, infection innovative medicines unit, AstraZeneca expressed their confidence about the collaboration.

Venus introduces Taxedol in India

The Chandigarh-based global pharmaceutical company, Venus Remedies has introduced for the first time a nanotechnology based “Ready-to-Use” Single Vial Docetaxel in the domestic market under the brand name “TAXEDOL.”

Commenting on this, Dr Mufti Suhail Sayeed, vice president Venus Medicine Research Center (VMRC) said, “TAXEDOL is ready-to-use single vial formulation available in three strengths 20mg/0.5 ml, 80mg/2 ml, and 120mg/3ml. Our one-vial formulation and is having the advantage of requiring a single dilution step in suitable infusion solutions prior to administration. Thus, offering cost-effective solution to patients.” As per Venus Remedies, the research at VMRC has established that, this novel technology is unique and will offer significant therapeutic advantage over all available similar and competing products.

TAXEDOL is a single unit stable, pharmaceutical formulation which has lesser impurities in comparison to innovator product. This one vial formulation of Docetaxel will not only make the administration of the drug easier by introducing the premix solution but at the same time will provide enhanced safety to patients and para-medical staff. Furthermore, the nano-scale size of the formulation results in improved penetration, higher efficacy, improved safety and lesser side effects. The formulation comprises of Docetaxel in nano particle form which gives 11 percent higher cancer cell killing potential as compared to existing Docetaxel. A semi-synthetic analogue, Docetaxel is considered to be one of the most effective and successful oncology product in the cancer treatment.

Serum Institute acquires Dutch biologics company

Serum Institute of India (SII) the flagship company of the over $1 billion Poonawalla Group and India's largest vaccine company, has acquired Bilthoven Biologicals of Netherlands. Through the acquisition, Serum Institute will get access to technology and expertise for making the injectable polio vaccine (Salk), a unique capability and expertise that is currently possessed by a mere three other vaccine manufacturing plants globally. This first overseas acquisition by the Poonawalla Group will also provide the Group and Serum Institute, an important manufacturing base in Europe, with access to the important European and the US markets.

SII had business dealings with Bilthoven Biologicals for the last 35 years, which was owned by the Netherland government.

Serum Institute of India is one of world's leading vaccine manufacturers, and according the the BioSpectrum Top 20 Survey 2012, it is India's leading biotech company with revenues surpassing 1,708 crore. Its range of products have been used in 140 countries across the globe. It is estimated that two out of every three children immunized in the world is vaccinated by a vaccine manufactured by SII.

Currently its headquarters along with its manufacturing facility is located near Serum Bio Pharma Park, India's first biotech special economic zone (SEZ) at Pune.

Bilthoven Biologicals now positions itself as a contract manufacturer and expects to profit from the new ownership.

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