Updated on 29 August 2012
BIO's industry-specific, web-based interactive software enables participants to prepare prior to the conference by using search criteria to identify potential partners, reviewing profiles of those attending companies and sending select companies personalized meeting requests. Over 1,250 of these one-on-one partnering meetings have been held in the past at BIO India. These small and medium-sized emerging companies may also opt to take center stage to present their programs and gain visibility by giving a company presentation to an audience of interested attendees.
Do you think a policy document, like the recently released Guidelines for Similar Biologics, will have a major impact on the biotech industry in India? What changes do you foresee?
BIO considers the issuance of India's Guidelines on Similar Biologics a step in the right direction. The guidelines recognize the scientific and regulatory complexities presented by the development and manufacture of biologic medicines. BIO hopes that these guidelines will be implemented in a manner that continues to protect patient safety, and that India will further include adequate protections for innovators to ensure continued R&D of new cures and treatments.
With a host of regulatory issues plaguing the Indian biotech industry, where do you think India stands as compared to other countries in terms of progress of biotechnology?
In the Scientific American Worldview report, India was among the countries recently named as likely to have the strongest gains in developing next generation life-saving products in the coming decade. Due to the colossal increase in capital, a well-educated population, India's existing biotech and pharma companies, research will move progressively towards India, especially as the demand for improved healthcare increases.
The compulsory licensing of Nexavar has been hailed as a progressive step. However, it has come under criticism from the US government. Your views on this?
BIO does not believe that the compulsory licensing of innovative products or technology generally is an effective means of promoting access or affordability of healthcare. Moreover, it undermines incentives for companies and individuals to innovate in India, since it creates uncertainty about receiving economic returns for their innovations. Indiscriminate use of compulsory licenses would thus jeopardize India's goal of developing a research-oriented biotechnology industry and is unsound policy.
It is also important to remember that this move does not just impact big pharma. Compulsory licenses affect the entire innovative biotechnology ecosystem jeopardizing government and private investment funding for small and medium sized biotechnology companies everywhere. Finally, the decision impacts patients around the world that need access to new treatments and cures that have yet to be developed. BIO believes there is much more than profit at stake.