• 7 October 2010
  • News
  • By Narayan Kulkarni

400 global delegates, 700 meetings

The wide participation of biotech companies at the BIO India International Partnering Conference  at Hyderabad in September showcased their eagerness to work with Indian companies over 400 representatives from 220 companies participated in the two-day Bio India International Partnering Conference held in Hyderabad from September 21-22, 2010. About 60 percent of the representatives were from India, 25 percent of the registered companies from North America, eight percent from Europe, and rest from Asia Pacific region.

Representatives of global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies like Amgen, Merck, GlaxoSmith Kline, AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Genentech, Roche, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Inviragen, Novartis Pharma, Novo Nordisk, Biogen Idec, Sanofi Pasteur, Haffmann-La Roche were actively scouting for partnerships with Indian biopharmaceutical companies.

The conference also had the presence of venture capital firms, law firms and research organizations; such as venture capital firms like Federated Kaufmann Fund and VIVO Ventures from the US; law firms like Shook, Hardy & Bacon, from the US, seeking partnership with Indian companies.

The Biotechnology Industry
Organization (BIO) which represents over 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the US and in 30 other countries, organized this first-ever Bio India International Partnering Conference in Hyderabad, in association with Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE), a 200-member national forum that represents India’s biotechnology sector.

Alan F Eisenberg, executive vice president, Emerging Companies & Business Development, BIO, noted, “Of the 1,600 requests received for one-on-one meetings at the two-day forum, we were able to schedule 700 meetings. Besides these scheduled meetings, the event provided a platform for additional one-on-one meetings, for the registered delegates.” At the recently concluded Chicago BIO International Convention 2010, he said, BIO had received 4,300 meeting requests from global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, with Indian companies.

In addition to the dedicated one-on-one partnering time slots, the conference included a full schedule of company presentations, keynote address; and three panel discussions on Unique Deal Structures, IP and Tech Transfer in India and Financing of Innovation in India. Dr Jeremy Levin, senior vice president, Strategic Transactions Group, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Dr Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairman and managing director, Biocon, gave the keynote address. Also, a short video with message by Dr MK Bhan, secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, was shown.

Sri Mosur, president and CEO, Jubilant Biosys; Dr Rashmi Barbhaiya, CEO & managing director, Advinus Therapeutics; and Achin Gupta, senior vice president, Corporate Strategy, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals; shared their experiences on unique deal structures their companies have established with other global companies, to help prepare new entities considering partnerships with Indian companies. Dr Karen Bernstein, chairman and editor-in-chief, BioCentury, moderated the discussion.

Hitesh Sharma, partner and leader, Life Science Practice, Ernst & Young; Sunny Sharma, senior managing director, OrbiMed Advisors; KV Subramaniam, president and CEO, Reliance Life Sciences, shared the recent case studies and novel approaches to the funding of innovation in this emerging market, in reply to the questions raised by Dr Jasmin Patel, managing director, FIL Capital Advisors, who moderated the discussion.

Pravin Anand, managing partner, Anand & Anand; Arundeep Pradhan, associate vice president, Tech Transfer and Business Development, Oregon State University; Deepam Mishra, CEO, i2india Ventures; participated in a discussion on India’s proposed Utilization of Public Funded Intellectual Property Bill and its implication for translating research into cutting-edge products; moderated by Thomas Moga of Shook, Hardy & Bacon, US.

The panelists discussed its impact on foreign investment, partnership opportunities in India and innovative product development, besides its impact on the biotechnology industry in India.

The Indian companies that are spending close to 10 percent of the sales revenue on R&D using cutting-edge technology and tools at the state-of-the-art labs, are keen on partnering with global firms to mitigate the R&D risks. About 25 biotechnology companies both from India and abroad, focusing on developing drug discovery research, through cutting-edge science made presentations on their product pipeline.

Companies like Aurigene Discovery Technologies, Biocon, Connexios Life Sciences, Genotypic Technology, Ocimum BioSolutions, Strand Life Sciences, Orchid Research Laboratories, Intas Biopharmaceuticals, Ecron Acunova, Workchardt, NovaLead Pharma, Indus Biotech, Kemwell, GangaGen Biotechnologies, Jubilant Biosys, Incozen Therapeutics and Cellworks Research India; and research organizations like Center for Cellular and Molecular Platforms, shared their organizational vision and their requirement seeking partners.

In addition to the above Indian companies, firms from Israel, UK, Germany, Denmark; including Kamedis Laboratories, an Israeli company focusing on creating innovative products for skin treatments; Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, a US-based biopharmaceutical company that acquires, develops and commercializes a diversified portfolio of oncology, and other drug candidates that meet critical health challenges for which there are few other treatment options; The Wellcome Trust, a London-based global independent charity funding dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health; CureVac, a German biopharmaceutical company specialized in RNA molecules synthesized by chemical and enzymatic means; and Novo Nordisk, a focused healthcare company from Denmark and a world leader in diabetes care, made presentations about potential partnership opportunities with
Indian companies.

Speaking to BioSpectrum on the sidelines of the conference, BP Acharya, principal secretary, Industries and Commerce Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh, said “Our dream has come true with BIO India International Partnering Conference coming to India. BIO India plays a major role in providing networking platform for global and Indian pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. We have been in discussions with BIO for past seven-to-eight years. Finally, with the support of ABLE, Hyderabad has hosted the first-ever BIO India conference.”

The presence of major players in global pharmaceutical and biotechnology at this event indicates their strong willingness to work with Indian companies. Pleased with success of the conference and the interest among the Indian companies, Alan F Eisenberg announced, “The next annual BIO India conference will be held in Hyderabad on Sept 21-22, 2011.”

Narayan Kulkarni in Hyderabad

Ranbaxy, Cadila, Aurobindo, Matrix bag Pharmexcil Exports Awards
The Outstanding Export Performance Awards and Patents Awards 2009-10 were given away during the ‘Pharma CEO’s Conclave’ held in Hyderabad on September 24, 2010. The event was organized by Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil), set up by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.

In all, 12 awards were presented for export performance. Ranbaxy Laboratories bagged the Outstanding Exports Award in overall category; and Cadila Healthcare received the same in overall emerging category. While Aurobindo Pharma bagged the Outstanding Exports Award Formulations in the overall category, Matrix Laboratories won the same in the emerging category.

Speaking on the occasion, K Rosaiah, chief minister of Andhra Pradesh said, “I am very happy to place on record that, after the establishment of Pharmexcil, the exports of our country have grown from 17,060 crore ($3.8 billion) to 39,958 crore ($8.9 billion). Exports have grown with formulations at 58 percent, bulk drugs at 41 percent and herbals at one percent.”

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