Mazumdar-Shaw is one of the important thing audio system on the fifteenth version of the annual digital summit on June 22 hosted by the USA India Chambers of Commerce.
The ongoing COVID-19 public well being disaster has resulted in the creation of an “ecosystem” of innovation in India, Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has mentioned forward of the annual India-U.S. bio-pharma summit in Boston subsequent week.
Mazumdar-Shaw, 68, is one of the important thing audio system on the fifteenth version of the annual digital summit on June 22 hosted by the USA India Chambers of Commerce. The different star-studded audio system embrace Dr. Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer; Dr. Francis Collins, Director, National Institutes of Health; Dr. Janet Woodcock, Acting Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration; and Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog.
“The whole intent (of the more than a decade old annual India-U.S. bio pharma summit) is to catalyse an innovation ecosystem in India. I think, COVID-19 has actually created the ecosystem,” Mazumdar-Shaw informed PTI in an interview.
COVID-19, she, famous, has really resulted in progressive vaccines being produced, akin to Covaxin, Genova mRNA programme, and lots of different programmes that the Indian vaccine makers have licensed and developed in the nation.
“Then, of course, the whole clinical research ecosystem has been created because we’ve had so many clinical trials in India, whether it is for new repurpose drugs or vaccines…basically bridging trials, a lot of clinical trials have also happened in India,” mentioned the manager chairperson and founder of Biocon, a high biotechnology firm primarily based in Bangalore, noting that scientific trials had been banned in India at one stage.
“And then when the whole environment opened up for clinical trials, there were not enough trials going on. Now suddenly, a whole bunch of clinical trials have gone on. A lot of clinical sites have opened. A lot of investigator-initiated studies have started.
“I think the whole understanding that you’ve just got to get into clinical trials and clinical research, to actually address a large number of unmet needs is now beginning to dawn on the Indian innovation system,” Mazumdar-Shaw mentioned.
She famous that India has a big quantity of incubators, the place they’re creating some very progressive programmes.
“There is VC funding now getting into those programmes. So slowly, that ecosystem has been created,” the billionaire entrepreneur mentioned, including that corporations from India have began U.S. operations to boost funding and have gotten an element of the U.S.’ innovation ecosystem.
The COVID-19 disaster, she noticed, has additionally introduced the pharma corporations from India and the U.S. collectively.
Citing examples, she mentioned, Novavax has partnered with Serum Institute. The Baylor Institute has partnered with Biological-E, Johnson and Johnson has partnered with Biological-E and contracted manufacturing their vaccine.
Then there are a lot of different programmes which were licensed from the U.S. tutorial centres, Mazumdar-Shaw mentioned.
The nasal vaccine that Bharat Biotech is creating has been licensed from the University of Wisconsin. Quite a bit of that sort of partnership and collaborations are ongoing, she mentioned, including, “COVID-19 has definitely brought a lot of spotlights on to those kinds of opportunities”.
One of the foremost challenges of the worldwide bio-pharmaceutical trade was the disruption of world provide chains. And one of them was the uncooked materials provide chain required for vaccine manufacturing, the Biocon head mentioned.
India, she mentioned, was depending on the U.S. for uncooked supplies for vaccine manufacturing. Recently, the U.S. and India got here collectively and the ban on provide of the uncooked supplies was revoked, paving the way in which for Indian vaccine producers to supply the jabs required for world markets.
“Today, India has been recognised as one of the largest producers of vaccines in the world. They (the Indian pharma companies) were limited in terms of their vaccine capacity because of some of these constraints. But now with the U.S. opening up that kind of supply of products to vaccine manufacturers, they have also enabled the production of vaccines for global markets,” Mazumdar-Shaw mentioned.
Responding to a query, she mentioned India and the U.S. must be sure that there may be free sharing of data on applied sciences and merchandise and any form of export ban be lifted. That can be an excellent coverage for each the international locations to undertake.
“The fact that there’s already a natural collaboration happening between Indian companies and the U.S. companies and academic institutions. Ultimately it is really about having access to each other’s markets, because India is a huge market and so is the U.S.,” she mentioned.
Mazumdar-Shaw mentioned whereas most Indian genetic corporations are depending on the U.S. market, loads of American corporations are additionally taking a look at India as a market that’s essential in the longer term.
“From that point of view, it’s a symbiotic and win-win kind of an opportunity for both the countries,” she mentioned.
Observing that the second wave of COVID-19 is receding and the numbers are coming down very quickly, Mazumdar-Shaw mentioned India has discovered many classes from this public well being disaster.
“Every country has learned lessons in COVID-19. One is that you cannot be complacent. Secondly, there are going to be waves of the pandemic. So just because one wave recedes, doesn’t mean that another wave won’t happen. Thirdly, you got to be in a state of preparedness all the time. You cannot be complacent.”
“Fourthly, you must have very strong surveillance measures. Because that is something which every country has not done very well, and it has got surprised by an outbreak, which has suddenly led to another wave,” she mentioned.
Mazumdar-Shaw mentioned any authorities must be sure that it calibrate the opening up of the financial system and undertake COVID applicable behaviour.
“You must be very vigilant about any outbreaks anywhere. Because small outbreaks can really start becoming very serious if you ignore them. These are some of the learnings. But most importantly, the world has realised that by vaccinating dense populations that have high caseload, they’re able to basically bring down and manage the pandemic much better than if you just tried to vaccinate everyone,” she mentioned.
Noting that healthcare prices are very difficult proper now, Mazumdar-Shaw mentioned merchandise akin to generics and biosimilars are going to be very useful and they’ll additionally comprise the healthcare prices.
“Indian pharma companies will continue to basically address these healthcare needs… From that point of view, I see that right now all the focus has been on COVID, but we’ve also neglected a lot of other disease areas. Now that the economy has opened, hospitals have opened…you’re going to see a huge demand for many, many of these products (generics and biosimilars),” she mentioned.