• 10 April 2007
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India gears up to dominate with a huge presence at BIO 2007

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India gears up to dominate with a huge presence at BIO 2007

The stage is set for the biggest global biotechnology show of the year, 2007 BIO International Convention of the Biotechnology Industry Association, USA (BIO), which will be held from May 6-9, 2007 in Boston, Massachusetts and India is participating in a big way this year.

The Indian participation at 2007 BIO International Convention (BIO 2007) will be consolidated, and on a bigger and grander scale. Both the public and the private biotech sector organizations are confident of a good show at the event. This year the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is coordinating the India Pavilion at BIO 2007 in partnership with the department of biotechnology (DBT) and the Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE), which is a sectoral partner.

The Indian participation has the full backing and support of the government. This is reflected by the optimistic thoughts of Kapil Sibal, the union minister for science and technology, about the biotech sector. "India will be at the center stage of the biotech industry in the world. India's biotech industry posted revenues of $1.5 billion in 2005 and is expected to top $2 billion this year. I am confident that the Indian biotech industry can reach $40 billion in revenues by 2015."

"India's participation at BIO 2007 should be consolidated and on a bigger scale. We need to connect with the delegations of other countries more proactively and with quality. So we are using our influence in the different knowledge circles to come up with our best effort. We are also linking with the international programs of the science ministry. The idea is to connect the efforts of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the department of science and technology (DST) and the DBT with that of the industry organizations like the CII, ABLE, and FICCI so that there is more cohesion on an international platform," said Dr MK Bhan, secretary, DBT.

Arun Prakash, CEO, Genetix Biotech Asia, New Delhi, said, "India's participation is much larger in 2007 as compared to 2006. India is the best possible biotech destination and a strong base for R&D, production or bioinformatics. India offers a bright pool of intellectual resources, attractive government incentive and modern infrastructure for the science industry."

The DBT has also given a definite thrust to the participation of the Small and Medium size companies (SMEs) and entrepreneurs at BIO by partnering with CII so that the participation cost is subsidized for this sector. "There is a concerted effort to promote and encourage more medium sized companies and SMEs to participate at BIO. We are working with them to be there in a sizeable number," said Dr Bhan.

Dr Rama Mukherjee, president, R&D, Dabur Research Foundation, Ghaziabad, stated, "The DBT has given a huge support to the participating companies, which is very encouraging."

Another notable feature of the India Pavilion this year is that it is spread. The CII has secured about 4,400 sft prime location for the pavilion which is nearly four times the space as compared to the previous year. This will put the India pavilion at par with that of the many other participating countries. Supporting this view, Dr LMS Palni, senior scientific advisor, biotechnology, and project director, Uttranchal, said, "This year the DBT is supporting the Indian participation in a big way. A whole lot of space has been taken for the India pavilion and focused presentations will be made by different trade companies under one roof."

A number of states like Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Karnataka are participating in the event. JP Negi, principal secretary (biotechnology), department of biotechnology, government of Himachal Pradesh and a member of the CII delegation, said, "At present, the Indian biotech sector is not mature enough and the vast exposure at BIO 2007 will have a multiplier effect in the proper direction in a big way. Biotechnology is an emerging area in an emerging market and we are gradually graduating but still not mature enough to capitalize on the strengths of India's diversity."

Dr Palni elaborated about his earlier experience at BIO, "I had earlier attended the BIO 2005 which was held in Philadelphia and during that year there was a lot of talk and thrust on clinical trials. Two years down the line, we see that India is making big strides in this area and has become a favorable destination for certain clinical trials. Another topic which was discussed in great depth at BIO 2005 was the Bayh Dole Act and now India is in the process of enacting it for the country," he said. "I see these two key developments in the country as 'learnings' that we have taken forward from our exposure to an earlier BIO event."

The private sector is equally optimistic about the Indian presence at BIO. Dr Rama Mukherjee, who has been a regular participant at the event, said, "There has also been a shift in the perspective of the participating Indian companies. Earlier the companies went to BIO to simply be a part of the biggest international annual biotech show, whereas now there is a concerted effort towards building business, networking, etc." Speaking about the benefits of attending the global meet, she observed, "India should gain immensely from this event. With the relaxation in the government rules and regulations (towards the life sciences industry) and the encouragement of the Indian government, all the companies should benefit a great deal.

The BIO convention is the largest gathering of biotechnology leaders in the world, attracting more than 18,000 participants, featuring over 190 sessions, almost 1000 speakers, 17,6000 sft area, 60 pavilions and over 1700 exhibitors.

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"We will project a unified image of Indian biotech industry"

-Dr MK Bhan, secretary, DBT

What are your expectations from BIO Boston and how do you think India could benefit from the event?

The Indian biotech industry holds a strong position in the Asia-Pacific region and constitutes around 2 percent of the global biotechnology market. The world has woken up to the fact that India is a country that cannot be ignored while plotting the landscape of the biotechnology industry of the future.

BIO being the largest gathering of the global biotech fraternity, it is a platform to learn the latest know-how in the global industry and also to showcase the strength of the Indian biotech industry. It also provides unique networking and partnership opportunities for us to forge R&D collaborations and business development with other countries.

What will be India's strategy at the event?

In BIO 2007, India's objective is to showcase the strength of the Indian biotech industry by providing a platform to the Indian companies to showcase their products and technologies. It will also provide opportunities for forging new partnerships and networking with the global biotech community.

With this view, several steps have been initiated:

Biotech mission to the US (May 3-6, 2007): Mission members include government officials and industry leaders. A number of meetings have been scheduled with leading research institutions and industry in and around Boston.

Exhibition: In BIO 2007, the India Pavilion is spread on massive area of 4400 sft at a very prime location. This would be the largest ever pavilion of India at the BIO. The Pavilion has participation from both the government and industry.

International seminars: Two international seminars on "Indian Agri Biotechnology: The Growth Potential" and "India: Leveraging opportunities in Biotechnology" have been organized. Both the seminars have eminent speakers from the Indian government and industry.

Networking opportunities: A seminar on "Indo-US Business opportunities: Biotechnology" is scheduled on May 4, 2007. The Indian biotech industry is growing at the rate of 37 percent and constitutes 2 percent of the global industry. The US is the largest market and world's leading biotechnology companies are located in Boston. There are immense opportunities that could be explored between the US and India for further development of biotechnology.

In what way do you think BIO 2007 will be different from the previous BIO events?

As mentioned earlier, the India Pavilion at BIO 2007 is located at a prime location and spread in area of 4,400 sft. This is the biggest pavilion India ever had in BIO. The India pavilion has participation from not only the industry but also the state governments. This will project a unified image of the Indian biotech industry. To provide the networking and partnership opportunities to Indian companies, we are organizing the mission and various international seminars.


US, India biotech leaders to hold summit at Boston

A galaxy of leaders from the US biotech industry and venture capital segment will interact with the Indian biotech delegation at BIO Boston. The USA-India Chamber of Commerce has put together an exciting evening to bring face-to-face the industry leaders to take the Destination India story in biotech forward.

Among the leading participants at the May 7 evening function at Boston's Omni Park Hotel  are Dr Helmut M Schühsler, managing partner at TVM Capital, John Littlechild, managing director at Healthcare Ventures, George Bickerstaff, managing director at CRT Capital Group, Ed Mascioli, executive partner at MPM Capital, Stephen Knight, managing partner, Fidelity Biosciences, David U'Prichard, Partner at Care Capital. Prominent biotech company participants are Dr Alan Smith, chief scientific officer at Genzyme, Dr Peter Muller, chief scientific officer at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Dr Francis Cuss, senior vice president, Pharmaceutical Research Institute- Bristol-Myers Squibb, Abbie Celniker, head of the program office at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research.

Union minister for S&T, Kapil Sibal, DBT chief MK Bhan and Biocon's Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw will participate as speakers. The US assistant secretary of commerce, Isreal Hernandez will be the most prominent US government delegate at the interactive session.

India's trade and commerce minister, Kamal Nath said, “ The US-India Biotech Summit can further help in creating Centers of Excellence (CoEs) in biotechnology in the country. We seek to increasingly co-operate with the US in this area and exploit the synergy that exists in this field. The confidence of foreign investors in India is reflected in the highest ever inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the last two years. We are seeking investment into India because we believe investment to be a key factor in our economic transformation. USA-India Chamber of Commerce has played a significant contribution in the development of business ties between India and the US.”

Why is Indian biotech hot? Reasoned James C Mullen, chairman, Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and CEO and Biogen Idec: “In India, the biotechnology industry has made important strides. The Indian biotech industry today comprises over 280 companies. India enjoys several benefits as a center for biotechnology including a large, well-educated base of professionals, ranging from biologists and geneticists to medical practitioners and statisticians. The country also includes diverse disease populations for clinical trials and drug development. Finally, India's unique and diverse plant, animal and microbial bio-diversity provides exciting research opportunities.

This summit is part of an ongoing dialogue, said Karun Rishi, president of the USA-India Chamber of Commerce. The summit will have two panel discussions. One on discovery, development, IP & regulatory issues and the second on investment opportunities, crossborder investment and M&A trends in the life sciences industry.


ABLE to push for investments in biotech

ABLE member companies participating at BIO Boston 2007 are: Advinus Therapeutics; Aurigene; Avestha Gengraine Technologies; Bhat Biotech; Biocon India; BioSpectrum; Biovel Life Sciences; Commexios Life Sciences; Leader Prospects India; Nadathur Holdings; Ocimum Biosolutions; Polyclone; Strand Life Sciences; Tata Consultancy Services; And Yes Bank.

The Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE), the apex Indian biotech association, has partnered with CII for BIO Boston 2007 and played a major role in planning and promoting the India Pavilion and Mission for the event. ABLE, with about 20 of its members, would be participating in the India mission.

ABLE has also partnered with USAIC (USA-India Chambers of Commerce) to promote the India-US biotech summit, which is a high powered networking session intended to accelerate the trade and investments between the US and India. ABLE members attending this summit will leverage this platform to interact with delegates from many leading US biotech and investment companies.

The summit will have two panel discussions. One on discovery, development, IP and regulatory issues and the second on investment opportunities, cross border investment and M&A trends in the life sciences industry. Kapil Sibal, the union minister of science and technology, and Dr MK Bhan, secretary, DBT, are expected to be keynote speakers. Senior partners of prominent life sciences companies, venture funds, and academic institutes will be participating in the summit.

"Many of our member companies are ready to license their technologies and partner with the big pharma companies. Indian companies are also actively looking for acquisitions, mergers and tie-ups. We therefore plan to promote both inward and outward investments at this forum," said Nandita Chandavarkar, director, operations, ABLE.

BIO being one of the largest platforms to network with biotech and allied companies across all geographies, ABLE plans to promote two of its forthcoming flagship biotech events-BIOINVEST 2007, which will be held on November 1-2, 2007 in Mumbai, and BIOPARTNERING 2008, which will be held in Hyderabad in January 2008.

ABLE will also enter into a strategic tie-up with BIO to work closely in the Asia region.

Indian Mission Program

May 3, 2007

  • Visit and Interaction with Whitehead Institute

  • Meeting with Chilean Delegation to BIO 2007

  • Visit Millennium Pharmaceuticals

  • May 4, 2007

  • Visit to Biogen Idec

  • Visit to Genzyme

  • Visit to Novartis Institute

  • CII Conference on Indo-US Business Opportunities in Biotechnology

  • Visit to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

  • Visit and meeting at Boston University

  • Networking with International and Massachusetts Bio and Research Organizations by MOITI**

May 7, 2007

  • Inauguration of India Pavilion

  • India Conference – "Indian Agri Biotechnology: The Growth Potential"

  • Brief media on Indian biotechnology

  • India Conference – "India: Leveraging Opportunities in Biotechnology"

Canadian Networking reception **

May 8, 2007

  • Thought leader Plenary Session: "Market transitions: Forging ahead in Asia"

** Tentative program


The exhibitors at India Pavilion are: ABLE; Advinus Therapeutics; Avestha Gengraine Technologies; Biocon; CII; CSIR; Dabur Research Foundation; DBT, Government of India; Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh; Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of Gujarat; Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of Himachal Pradesh; Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of Rajasthan*; Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of Tamil Nadu*; Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of Uttarakhand; Genetix Biotech Asia; Jubilant Biosys; Karnataka Biotechnology & Information Technology Services (KBITS); Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC); Reliance Clinical Research Services; Sandor Proteomics; Tata Consultancy Services; And Veeda CR

* to be confirmed



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