Washington: Ahead of the annual India-US BioPharma and Healthcare Summit to be attended by scientists, academicians, corporate leaders, and officials from both countries, a top Indian official has urged the G20 countries to collaborate and focus on evidence-based research.
“I urge G20 member countries, businesses, academics, and scientists to collaborate and focus on evidence-based research and analytics to ensure preparedness in health systems and build adaptable global supply chains that can deliver instantaneously during a crisis,” Amitabh Kant, India‘s G20 Sherpa said in a statement issued by the USA-India Chamber of Commerce (USAIC) on Sunday.
The USAIC also announced to hold its 17th annual BioPharma and Healthcare Summit on May 3 virtually.
Kant said G20 member countries share equal responsibility for ensuring robust and resilient health systems to provide health security to citizens.
The Research and Innovation Initiative Gathering (RIIG), Science20, Startup20 under G20 aim to achieve socio-economic equity through research, innovation, partnership and collaboration, he said.
“Global collaboration and partnership in drug and vaccine development, clinical research, streamlining workflows, inventory management will mitigate risks and allow seamless delivery of health care services,” said Kant, who would be addressing the conference along with other Indian government officials and industry leaders, including Dr. Vinod Paul, Member, NITI Aayog, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Dr. Naresh Trehan, Dr. Shiv Sarin, and Dr. Krishna Ella.
US FDA commissioner Dr. Robert Califf is participating in the summit.
Other important participants include Johnson & Johnson’s Chairman and CEO Joaquin Duato; Pfizer’s Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla; Biogen’s CEO Christopher Viehbacher, Merck’s former Chairman and CEO Kenneth Frazier along with top venture capitalists, academic leaders from Harvard, MIT, MD Anderson and Global Research and Development heads of Takeda, Sanofi, Amgen, Novartis, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, demonstrating the interest of global BioPharma companies to collaborate with India.
Andrew Plump, president of R&D, Takeda, and Chair, of USAIC BioPharma and Healthcare Summit said the increasing pace of scientific innovation over the last few decades has resulted in extraordinary advances in healthcare and it is imperative that they ensure people across the globe have access to them.
“This year, with India on track to become the world’s most populous country, our responsibility to ensure its people benefit from these innovations that improve human health has never been greater,” he said.
“I see India on the path to becoming an innovation powerhouse in BioPharma in the coming years. India has tremendous needs and potential in the area of BioPharma and Healthcare Innovation. After 17 years of consistent efforts by the USAIC, we are very encouraged to see good progress and positive signs of India embracing BioPharma innovation,” said Karun Rishi, president of USAIC.
“India has enacted several pragmatic policies to drive innovation and bring much-needed investment into the country to make it an R&D leader. Measures undertaken by the Indian government in the last few years have prepared the ground for R&D in India. Now we should work towards scaling it up, be it in R&D, translational research, industry-academic partnerships, clinical trial or manufacturing,” he said.
BioPharma companies are digitising their operations with cloud-based technologies, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other digital solutions, he said, adding that this is changing how we discover, develop and deliver health innovation.
This offers tremendous opportunity for India. India has the talent, infrastructure, and capacity to play a critical role in the digital and data science area, Rishi added.
“With India assuming G20 Presidency this year, it is time to elevate the level of discussion about BioPharma R&D, Clinical Trials and Global Supply Chain. The summit will have a special session to discuss this by bringing together G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant and industry leaders. G20 is a very powerful group. It is important for India and the rest of the world that there is an honest discussion on access and availability as a key priority for equitable access to BioPharma innovation,” Rishi said.
“How can the industry and the G20 leadership work together to make this happen? Today’s healthcare challenges are complex. A united global response will be more effective than individual countries acting independently. India’s leadership at G20 this year can be a defining moment to address these critical issues for patients worldwide,” he said.
According to Hari Bhartia, Founder and co-Chairman, Jubilant Bhartia Group, India has an excellent opportunity to leverage its strong tradition in pharmaceuticals to expand into biologics and biosimilars.
“It provides a favourable ecosystem for developing biotechnology and healthcare businesses, with a wide variety of qualified talent pools, world-class infrastructure and business-friendly policies. The country has invested heavily in infrastructure, such as state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities with global accreditations and advanced laboratories with cutting-edge technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning to support drug discovery and development research,” he said.
“India’s strategic move towards BioPharma innovation is a positive development for patients worldwide. With global partnerships, it will play a critical role in developing quality therapy products at an affordable price,” Bhatia added.
Rishi said to foster innovation and help the industry, USAIC is offering free registration for the annual summit. This has attracted over a thousand medical students and researchers globally to participate in the annual summit.
“I am encouraged by the response of young colleagues. They are the future leaders in the healthcare and life science industry. We must do everything to help the next generation of leaders,” he said.