BioSpectrum Awards 2008
December is the time for the annual BioSpectrum Awards, which were started in 2003. The awards are to recognize the exceptional contributions of the industry to the development of biotech sector in the country. There are two key categories of awards-BioSpectrum Biotech Industry Awards and the BioSpectrum Company of the Year Awards.
The jury decides on the BioSpectrum Biotech Industry Awards, which comprises mainly the Person of the Year, Life Time Achievement, Entrepreneur of the Year, Product of the Year, and the special category award. The awards under the Companies of the Year category are decided by BioSpectrum. The winners of this category of awards are chosen on the basis of the "BioSpectrum-ABLE Survey of the Biotech Industry". The top ranked companies (by revenues) in each of the sectors are the winners.
The BioSpectrum Biotech Industry Awards were selected by a panel of eminent people, who come from various backgrounds. The panel is empowered to nominate or introduce any special category of award.
BioSpectrum Awards 2008 jury and deliberations
The process started with the constitution of the panel in the first week of September 2008 and laying down the criteria for the selection of BioSpectrum Awards 2008. This was followed by the members of the jury meeting in Hyderabad on October 1, 2008 for making the final choice.
The jury headed by Varaprasad Reddy, chairman, Shantha Biotech and BioSpectrum Person of the Year 2007 comprised of:
Prof. Vijay Chandru, chairman, Strand Life Sciences and BioSpectrum Entrepreneur of the Year 2007.
Dr Shrikumar Suryanarayan, director general, Association of Biotechnology-Led Enterprises (ABLE), Bangalore.
Tapan Ray, director general, Organization of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI), Mumbai.
A Ramesh, general partner, APIDC-Venture East, Hyderabad.
Narayanan Suresh, group editor, BioSpectrum.
Abraham Mathew, chief editor, BioSpectrum.
The jury was unanimous in its choice of selecting the winners in most of the categories. BioSpectrum Life Time Achievement was decided in favor of Prof. G Padmanaban, NASI-Platinum Jubilee Chair, IISc, for his selfless and tireless service to the biotech industry and biotech research in India.
The jury chose Prof. Samir K Brahmachari, director general, CSIR as the Person of the Year. Varaprasad Reddy observed, "Prof. Brahmachari's efforts in the open drug discovery program and the Indian Genome Variation Consortium are very promising. He has put Indian research on the global map now."
Anuradha Acharya, CEO, Ocimum Biosolutions, was announced as the Entrepreneur of the Year. Under her leadership, Ocimum has made three major acquisitions, increased its global presence, and is emerging as major player in the genomics area.
The jury considered the technological efforts involved in the development of the XCyto Screen Macro Chips and also highlighted its quality of fulfilling an important societal need as an affordable medical product, while selecting it as the product of the year along with Reditux.
The second product from Dr Reddy's Laboratories' Biologics Division, Reditux is a biosimilar version of Rituximab for cancer therapy. Within a year of its launch, Reditux has garnered 30-35 percent share of the market and brought down the prices to affordable levels.
The awardees of 2008 are:
BioSpectrum Life Time Achievement Award 2008: Prof. G Padmanaban, emeritus professor, IISc, Bangalore.
BioSpectrum Person of the Year: Prof. Samir K Brahmachari, DG, CSIR, New Delhi.
BioSpectrum Entrepreneur of 2008: Anuradha Acharya, CEO, Ocimum Biosolutions, Hyderabad.
BioProduct of 2008:
Reditux from Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Hyderabad.
XCyto Screen, the new diagnsotic tool from XCyton Diagnostics.
The jury chair, Varaprasad Reddy, guided the entire process of arriving at unanimous decisions and notified each winner of the selection and the winners have agreed to accept the awards.
The winners of BioSpectrum Awards 2008 would be honored on December 12, 2008 at a function at The Leela Palace Kempinski Bangalore. Bio-Rad is the principal sponsor for the Awards Nite, while Serum Institute of India and Oxford Institute have come forward to be the associate sponsors.