NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, Pfizer CEO Dr Alberta Bourla, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Dr Francis Collins and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Acting Commissioner Dr Janet Woodcock are scheduled to address the summit.
Being held in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, that badly hit the United States last year and has had a devastating impact on India this year, the 15th edition of the annual summit on June 22 is being organised by Boston-based USA India Chambers of Commerce (USAIC).
Leaders from the industry, academicians and top government officials from India and the US are expected to discuss areas of cooperation and emerging trends in drug discovery and development, the organisers said on Friday.
“The pandemic has demonstrated the need for global collaboration and partnership in drug and vaccine development, clinical research and trials, health data analytics to provide solutions at a faster pace,” Kant said.
In a statement, Kant congratulated USAIC for bringing global BioPharma leaders together to discuss emerging trends in drug development, research and innovation and initiating the dialogue on potential use of data science to boost the sector.
“With a focus on moonshot sectors in pharma such as vaccines, orphan drugs, biosimilars and complex generics, India is looking at ways to incentivise research, encourage industry academia collaboration and attract global scientific talent to strengthen its R&D ecosystem,” he said.
Looking forward to hearing from global leaders during the USAIC Summit on ways to enhance international collaboration to conduct high-quality and breakthrough research and place pharmaceutical industry amongst the top industries in the world, Kant said currently contributing to 3.6 per cent of global pharma market, India aims to increase its share to seven per cent in the coming decade by creating global champions.
For the second consecutive year, the annual conference is being held virtually.
“During the USAIC’s 15th Annual BioPharma & Healthcare Summit, we will have the opportunity to hear many different perspectives and engage with leaders across the healthcare ecosystem,” said Andrew Plump, president of R&D, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited and chair USAIC Biopharma & Healthcare Summit and USAIC Advisory Board member.
“There is increased recognition that we must develop new ways of innovating that will require partnership and collaboration models for industry, academia, the investment community, non-profit and government sectors to work together earlier in the R&D process and in more meaningful ways to accelerate our collective efforts for patients… and we must be proactive and make the necessary investments now,” he said.
Congratulating USAIC for bringing leaders of the Pharma and Biotech industry from India and abroad, K. Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India and Advisory Board member USAIC said that today, more than ever, there is need to bring access and equity of discoveries that are cutting edge and save lives.
“This can happen only if we enhance collaboration, maintain standards and find ways to ensure that costs to the beneficiary are reasonable and ensure maximal access.
“It is this combination of developing and using the best interventions and ensure that they are available that is India’s focus,” he said.
“In doing so, India expects to contribute to global access of quality biotech and pharma, even more than it does now,” he said.
According to Karun Rishi, President USAIC, several thousand have registered from across the world for this annual summit.
“As a service to the global BioPharma community in these unprecedented times, USAIC is offering free registration for its annual summit,” he said.
Observing that human suffering has been unprecedented and heartbreaking due to COVID-19, he said India has suffered disproportionately during the second wave.
“Global BioPharma industry marshalled resources never seen before to assist India deal with this crises. This summit gives us the opportunity to thank industry leaders for their timely help to India most notably Pfizer, Merck & Co, Amgen, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi, Takeda, Biogen and several others,” Rishi said.
“Upside of COVID-19 pandemic is that it will bring India closer to an innovation driven economy. Future of vibrant and healthy India relies on moving its BioPharma industry towards research and innovation. We believe top leadership in India understands this and is committed to work in this direction,” he said.
Rishi said USAIC’s efforts over the last 15 years have helped India’s policy framework congenial for research and development in biopharma & healthcare. Clinical trials policy is one such example, he noted.
“After years of stagnation, India’s robust and transparent clinical trials policy is once again attracting global companies to do ethical clinical trials in India. With numerous global BioPharma leaders participating with annual R&D spend over USD60 billion, the USAIC summit will accelerate and give boost to India’s ambition to be a strategic part of global BioPharma innovation ecosystem,” Rishi said.
The summit brings a strong participation from the US government. Prominent among them include Francis Collins, Director, NIH and Janet Woodcock, Acting Commissioner, US FDA.
Participation of Pfizer’s Chairman & CEO Albert Bourla, Amgen’s Chairman & CEO Robert Bradway and Biogen’s Chairman Stelios Papadopoulos along with global R&D heads of Janssen, Takeda, Sanofi, Amgen, Biogen, UCB and several other companies demonstrates the keenness of global innovative biopharma companies to work with India, he said.
“We are eager to hear directly from Pfizer’s Chairman Albert Bourla about India’s COVID-19 battle and steps Pfizer is taking to support India,” Rishi said, adding that Indian government and industry leaders participating are: Amitabh Kant, K. Vijay Raghavan, Hari Bhartia, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Naresh Trehan, and Dilip Shanghvi.
Shanghvi, MD Sun Pharma and Advisory Board member USAIC said that he strongly believes that collaboration between pharmaceutical companies, academic and research institutes and the government is the way forward.
“This will help in creating innovation hubs across the world that will provide solutions for a safer and healthier tomorrow,” he said.