US-India Strategic Partnership Forum’s Session on “US-India Collaboration in Bio-pharmaceuticals: Learnings from the Pandemic” at the Global Bio-India Conference 2021

On March 4, 2021, US-India Strategic Partnership Forum led a timely session on“Learnings from the Pandemic and Future of US- India Collaboration in Bio-Pharmaceuticals” at the Global Bio India 2021 conference. Senior leaders from United States along with representatives frommultinationals who are global leaders in developing vaccines, biologics, and advanced therapies joined the session including Pfizer, J&J, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Sanofi Genzyme, Cytiva, and Covance.

Participation from the government of India included:

  • Dr Alka Sharma, Scientist G, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Tech, Government  of India
  • Dr V G Somani, Drug Controller General India, CDSCO, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
  • Dr Jyoti Malik Logani, Scientist E, DBT, Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India
  • Dr. Shirshendu Mukherjee, Mission Director PMU, BIRAC
  • Dr Manish Diwan, Head, Strategic Partnership and Entrepreneurship Development, BIRAC

The discussions at the USISPF organised session saw several notable industry recommendations, which included:

  • Regulatory harmonisation and eliminating regulatorybarriers to simplify healthcare service delivery and create an ecosystem for innovation.
  • Adopt best practices employed during the pandemic to achieve growth and innovation in the healthcare sector
  • Need to develop a systematic disease surveillance system in order to create a single and reliable source of information and epidemiological data.
  • Innovation through collaboration as the key to overcoming healthcare challenges and introduce new innovations in the market.
  • Necessity to explore inter-industry and inter-governmental strategic partnerships to achieve healthcare goals.
  • The government must also facilitate collaborations between the industry and the academia to pool in their expertise for a robust knowledge system
  • Need for patient registries in the interest of Indian patients and recommendation for public-private collaboration to develop a single source to help plan better trial placement in India.
  • Establishment of a Centre of Excellence for Cell and Gene Therapy at DBT to identify areas to facilitate innovation and creation of an ecosystem within India to become the global leader in the field of cell and gene therapy. 
  • Adult immunization against VaccinePreventable Diseasesneed enhanced focus in post pandemic era to achieve goals on preventive and promotive health.

The Drug Controler General of India, Dr. V.G. Somani assured the participants companies that the department will look into establishing an institutionalised patient registry. He also underlinedthe government’s efforts to promote advanced therapies and products. Additionally, Dr. Somani assured industry members that the department is striving to work in cooperation with the regulatory bodies and regulatory harmonisation is a priority.

Dr. Alka Sharma said that the DBT has been instrumental in the funding and consolidation of efforts to curb the pandemic. She emphasised on the need to elevate knowledge and technology cooperation between India and the US to collectively fight the current pandemic.