Updated on 17 May 2012
Mr Richard Abela, country president, Novartis Thailand (left), with Dr Kanyawim Kirtikara, executive director, BIOTEC
In 2005, Novartis, a leading healthcare solution provider, decided to partner with The National Center For Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC), Thailand, to decipher the potential use of microorganisms and natural compounds as sources of new medicines to treat diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart and tropical diseases. Owing to the success of the partnership, Novartis and BIOTEC decided to extend tie-up for three more years.
In an interview with BioSpectrum, Dr Kanyawim Kirtikara, executive director, BIOTEC, and Mr Richard Abela, country president, Novartis Thailand, discuss some of the achievements of the partnership and their future plans under the project.
Tell us about the BIOTEC-Novartis Partnership in Drug Discovery?
Dr Kirtikara: BIOTEC-Novartis Drug Discovery Partnership was conceptualized in 2005, with an aim to find the potential use of microorganisms and natural compounds as sources of potential new medicines. This partnership is based on the complementary expertise of both parties.
In addition to the research collaboration, capacity building of BIOTEC scientists through internships at research laboratories of Novartis Switzerland is also a focus of this partnership. Novartis also supports seminars and workshops in Thailand and sends experts to the country from time to time.