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    Pharma Industry-Academia Collaboration Proven to be a Win-Win for Developing New Drugs: Insights from the DDD Workshop’s 21-Day Conclusion

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    The recent Drug Discovery and Development workshop, organized by the Federation of Asian Biotech Associations (FABA) Academy in collaboration with Science Gurus and the University of Hyderabad, highlighted the importance of collaboration between academia and the pharmaceutical industry. The event was supported by the World Trade Center (WTC) Shamshabad and Visakhapatnam. The workshop featured 48 speakers who covered topics related to drug discovery, with 91 participants from various countries, including France, the UK, the US, Nigeria, India, and Iran. The 21-day event concluded with a hybrid valedictory day at the National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB) Centre in Hyderabad, attended virtually by Prof E Premkumar Reddy, Director of Icahn School of Medicine, New York.

    Prof Reddy emphasized the benefits of combining the strengths of academia and the pharmaceutical industry to develop cost-effective drugs. He stressed the importance of mitigating risks, time, and costs in developing new drugs through such collaborations. Prof Reddy also discussed the criteria required to start a biotech company, the cost of failure in developing a drug, utilizing technology to reduce the time frame in bringing out a drug, and the benefits of collaboration between academia and pharmaceutical companies.

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    According to Prof Reddy, China and India are becoming increasingly important countries for filing patents. Other strong markets include the USA, Europe, Japan, and Korea. He stated that seed funding of $8 million in the US and probably less is needed to start a biotech company in India. A strong scientific team with ties to academia, a group of scientific advisors, board of directors with experience in the pharma industry, and a clearly laid-out clinical path are also necessary to get a biotech company running and successful.

    Prof Reddy noted that lack of molecules or technology does not add to the cost of developing a drug but strict US FDA regulations result in around $2 billion being spent on getting a drug approved. He added that about 45% of molecules that enter clinical trials fail in phase two due to poor efficacy. With advancements in technology, the time consumed in developing a drug can be reduced. For a pharma company to reach the phase one of clinical trial, $22.7 million is needed, whereas for academia, the same would be $2 million, and most of the funds are received as grants.

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    The event also featured a panel discussion on the future of drug discovery in India, moderated by Uday Saxena, Co-founder of Reagene Innovations. The panel speakers included Dr CSN Murthy, CEO of Satya Pharma Innovations; Dr Manish Diwan, Head-Strategic Partnership of BIRAC-India; Dr Suresh Poosala, Founder-CEO of Oncoseek Bio and Acasta Health; Dr Vijay Pal Singh, Assistant Professor of AcSIR; Dr Prashant Bhavar, Founder of VRise Therapeutics; and Dr Ratnakar Palakodeti, VP of Persistent Systems. The discussion revolved around obtaining licenses from FSSAI, the shift in regulatory guidelines over the next one year period in India, funding available for startups working in this domain, risk capital coming into pharma startups, the nascent biotech ecosystem of India, and introducing regulations for creating a common platform for academia, the pharma industry, and other stakeholders.

    In conclusion, the Drug Discovery and Development workshop highlighted the importance of collaboration between academia and the pharmaceutical industry to develop cost-effective drugs. The event featured experts from various fields who shared their knowledge and experience on drug discovery and development. The panel discussion on the future of drug discovery in India provided insights into the challenges and opportunities in this domain. Overall, the workshop provided a platform for networking and knowledge sharing among participants from different countries and backgrounds.

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    Rajesh M
    Rajesh Mhttps://www.telanganatribune.com
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