Kiran Mazumdar COVID remark: Ahead of the annual India-US bio-pharma summit in Boston next week, Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar Shaw said that the COVID-19 pandemic has created an "ecosystem" of innovation in India.
Mazumdar is a key speaker at the 15th edition of the annual virtual summit to be held on June 22 hosted by the USA India Chambers of Commerce. The other speakers include Dr Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer; Dr Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health; D. Jannet Woodcock, Acting Commissioner, US Food and Drug Administration; and Amitabh Kant the CEO of NITI Aayog.
Kiran Mazumdar COVID remark
In an interview with PTI, Kiran Mazumdar said, "The whole intent (of the more than a decade old annual India-US bio pharma summit) is to catalyse an innovation ecosystem in India. I think, COVID-19 has actually created the ecosystem." She noted that the pandemic has resulted in the production of innovative vaccines such as Covaxin, Genova mRNA programme and several other programmes that the Indian producers of vaccine have licensed and developed in the country.
She added that when the whole environment opened up for clinical trials, enough trials weren't going on. Now suddenly a lot of clinical sites have opened and several investigator-initiated studies have started. She further noted that India has many incubators, where some innovative programmes are being developed. Mazumdar also stated that the crisis has brought pharma companies from the US and India together.
The Biocon Chief cited the examples of Novavax and Serum Institute saying that they have partnered. She then said that the Baylor Institute has partnered with Biological-E, Johnson and Johnson has also partnered with the same company for vaccine manufacture.
"Then there are many other programmes that have been licensed from US academic centres," Mazumdar said. She went on to say that the University of Wisconsin has licensed the nasal vaccine being developed by the Bharat Biotech. Mazumdar noticed that several such partnerships and collaborations are taking place and the pandemic has brought these opportunities into spotlight. Kiran Mazumdar stated that one of the major challenges the global bio-pharmaceutical industry faced was the disruption of global supply chains. One of them included the raw material supply chain required for the production of vaccine.
She said that India was dependent on the United States for raw materials used for manufacturing vaccine. Recently, the two countries came together and the ban on the supply of raw materials was revoked. This paved the way for Indian vaccine manufacturers to produce doses required for global markets.