Hyderabad: Asia’s largest Life Sciences and Biotechnology convention – BioAsia 2021 kick-started today in the presence of advocates from Life Sciences, Biotechnology, Pharma and Healthcare industries in India and abroad. The 18th edition of the global forum is being held on 22nd and 23rd February and was inaugurated by Mr KT Rama Rao, Hon’ble Minister for Industries and Commerce & IT, Government of Telangana. With the theme of ‘Moving The Needle’, the annual flagship event of the Government of Telangana, BioAsia, is focusing on COVID-19, Global Health, Pharma and MedTech.
While inaugurating the summit, Mr. K.T. Rama Rao, Minister for Industries and Commerce & IT, Government of Telangana said, “BioAsia 2021 marks the 18th edition of this prestigious annual flagship event and I’m extremely pleased that we have continued to hold this tradition by conducting the event amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. With the world still grappling over this and getting used to the ‘New Normal’, I would like to use this occasion once again to thank all the front-line workers including health care and public services, and the Scientists, among others who worked tirelessly during these unprecedented times amongst social and personal challenges. I take pride in saying that Hyderabad rose to the occasion and made an impact for the world to witness. Our position as the “Vaccine Capital of the World” was further bolstered and it is a matter of pride that the world is looking to India and Hyderabad. Our signature event, BioAsia has been synonymous with the life sciences sector in Hyderabad. I am delighted that the event continues grow in reputation and size. I hope you will have an engaging and thought-provoking time at the event over the next two days. Let’s together ‘Move the Needle’ to improve global health.”
During the inaugural ceremony, along with the Minister, also present in the occasion were Mr. Jayesh Ranjan, IAS, Principal Secretary, Industries & Commerce Dept, Govt of Telangana, Mr. E.V Narasimha Reddy, Chairman & Managing Director , TSIIC, Mr. Shakti Nagappan, Director of Telangana Life-sciences & CEO, BioAsia, Mr. Satish Reddy, Chairman, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, and Mr. Naveen Gullapalli, Global Head, Novartis Business Services Innovation and Dr. Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharat Biotech. The organizing committee of BioAsia has bestowed the prestigious Genome Valley Excellence Award 2021 to Bharat BioTech for its breakthrough, pioneering research, development and commercialization of vaccines including COVAXIN™ (COVID-19 Vaccine), Rabies vaccine, Japanese Encephalitis vaccine, Polio vaccine and Typhoid Conjugate vaccines, among many others that have helped save billions of lives globally. The award was personally received by Dr. Krishna Ella and Dr. Suchitra Ella.
During the inaugural session, an MoU was signed between the Govt. of Telangana and Cytiva, a global life-science leader to establish Biopharma Scale up facility that will be established in Genome Valley to provide professional training, technology evaluation, consultancy services, infrastructure support for process development, and the flexibility to scale up.
The inaugural session was followed by an insightful keynote address by Mr. Peter Marks, Director, Centre for Biologics Evaluation and Research, FDA. The first panel discussion of the day on the topic of Virtually Connected Healthcare was focussed on the prospects of telemedicine and Digi tools improving accessibility to healthcare with active participation from leaders in the space including Mr. Arnaud Bernaert, Head of Global Health and Healthcare, World Economic Forum, Ms. Carmen (C.F.M.) van Vilsteren, Chair Top Sector Life Sciences & Health, Health Holland, Ms. Sangita Reddy, Joint MD, Apollo Hospitals, , Ms. Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM, Mr. Ashutosh Raghuvanshi, MD & CEO, Fortis Healthcare Limited and Mr. Kaivaan Movdawalla, Partner, Healthcare, EY India. The session was moderated by Ms. Rhythma Kaul, Health Editor, Hindustan Times.
The second panel discussion – Immunizing the World was focused on India’s potential and key steps/actions to be taken to become the future global innovative vaccines provider. The panel comprised of global leaders including Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, World Health Organization, Dr. Balram Bhargava, Secretary to Government of India, Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare & Director-General, Indian Council of Medical Research, Dr. Robin Nandy, Principal Advisor & Chief of Immunizations, UNICEF, Dr. Jerome H. Kim, Director General, International Vaccine Institute (IVI), South Korea, Dr. Krishna Ella, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharat Biotech International Limited and Ms. Mahima Datla, Managing Director, Biological E.
The final panel for Day 1 on Hits/Misses and hidden pandemic, sparked an interesting discussion on learning from the pandemic to create a robust healthcare system. Dr. VK Paul, Member (Health), Niti Aayog, Government of India, Dr. Renu Swarup, Secretary to Government of India, Department of Biotechnology, Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director for South-East Asia, World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. V.G. Somani, Drugs Controller General (India), Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, Dr. Richard Hatchett, Chief Executive Officer, CEPI, Dr. Peter Piot, Director, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Dr. Naresh Trehan, Chairman and Managing Director, Medanta Hospital constituted the panel.
Mr. Jayesh Ranjan, IAS, Principal Secretary, Industries & Commerce Dept, Govt of Telangana commented, “We are taking the lead in sparking deliberations of dire necessity around the pandemic, reinventing and growing from it. Hyderabad has always been the heart of life sciences industry and it is rapidly growing and supporting the industry”.
Mr. Shakti Nagappan, Director of Telangana Life-sciences & CEO, BioAsia, “This year we’ve gone truly global with the 18th edition of BioAsia expecting to witness astonishing participation from close to 31,054 participants from 72 countries. We have seen leaders deliberating on critical topics such as COVID-19 and accessibility to healthcare. It has been a great kickstart to a crucial event”.
Day 2 of BioAsia 2021, would witness high impact sessions including the CEO Conclave with Mr. K.T. Rama Rao and Mr. Amitabh Kant and key industry stalwarts. A Fire side chat will also be organized with Mr. Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft and Mr. KT Rama Rao, Minister for Industries & Commerce, Government of Telangana. The participants will get to hear more industry leaders during the panels discussions on medical technologies, supply chain management and R&D in the industry.