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Today, both Central and State Governments are making their earnest efforts to promote biotechnology activities in the country by setting up biotechnology parks, incubators as well as pilot projects through public private partnership. At present, over 100 incubatees are working at various bioincubation centres and biotech parks in India. We will be featuring most active, functional biotech parks and incubation centres spread across India namely -Lucknow Biotech Park, IKP Knowledge Park, Venture Centre, IIT M Bioincubator, Golden Jubilee Biotech Park for Women Society, Centre for Cellular And Molecular Platforms, Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre and International Biotech Park.

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Published by MMA Media, 2018-07-29 07:23:11

BioSpectrum India August 2018

Today, both Central and State Governments are making their earnest efforts to promote biotechnology activities in the country by setting up biotechnology parks, incubators as well as pilot projects through public private partnership. At present, over 100 incubatees are working at various bioincubation centres and biotech parks in India. We will be featuring most active, functional biotech parks and incubation centres spread across India namely -Lucknow Biotech Park, IKP Knowledge Park, Venture Centre, IIT M Bioincubator, Golden Jubilee Biotech Park for Women Society, Centre for Cellular And Molecular Platforms, Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre and International Biotech Park.

Keywords: pharma,healthcare,science,government,biotech

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COVERSTORY 21.........................................................................................................................................................


Today, both Central and State Governments are making their earnest 29
efforts to promote biotechnology activities in the country by setting
up biotechnology parks, incubators as well as pilot projects through “BBC incubatees to
public private partnership. At present, over 100 incubatees are working
at various bioincubation centres and biotech parks in India. We will be launch 10 products
featuring most active, functional biotech parks and incubation centres
spread across India namely -Lucknow Biotech Park, IKP Knowledge at BTS- 2018”
Park, Venture Centre, IIT M Bioincubator, Golden Jubilee Biotech Park for
Women Society, Centre for Cellular And Molecular Platforms, Bangalore Dr Jitendra Kumar,
Bioinnovation Centre and International Biotech Park.
Managing Director,
Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre (BBC)


18 30

SPARK to synergize science activity in India ‘‘Molecular diagnostics
will become a protocol
BIO ANALYSIS in next 5 years’’
Arunima Patel,
Founder & Managing Director,
Road Ahead for Indian Biopharma Sector iGenetic Diagnostics


Q&A Prof K
32 VijayRaghavan,
Principal Scientific
“AI-assisted data mining Advisor to the
to save lives by reducing Government,
effort and time” talks about the
Abhishek Shah, challenges being
faced by the
Co-founder and CEO of Wellthy Therapeutics service industry.

34 Scan the QR Code »

“We have a huge demand Sateesh Andra,
supply gap of almost all MD, Endiya
resources in healthcare” Partners points
Shireesh Sahai, out the criteria the
company picks out
CEO – India-South Asia, Wolters Kluwer before making an
investment in the
PARTNERSHIPS healthcare sector.
Scan the QR Code »
India, South Korea sign
5 MoUs in Science & Technology Dr. Dhananjay
Bakhle, EVP-
REGULARS Medical Research,
Lupin shares the
BioEdit ........................................................................06 details of the recent
BioMail .......................................................................08 collaboration between
Policy and Regulatory News.....................................10 Lupin and Municipal
Finance News.............................................................12 Corporation of
Company News..........................................................13 Greater Mumbai for a
Start-up News............................................................15 joint TB campaign.
WHO News.................................................................17
Supplier News............................................................40 Scan the QR Code »
People News..............................................................43
Science News............................................................45
Academic News.........................................................48
BioEvent .....................................................................49


Bidding war ends

Cash strapped Fortis healthcare is expected current 1,192 in 9 hospitals to over 5870. It is
to get a new lease of life from Asia’s largest then expected to own 30 hospitals. It will become
hospital operator Malaysia’s IHH Berhad the second largest private healthcare provider in
healthcare. The Fortis board has accepted India after Apollo Hospitals. Its revenue share
the IHH bid of pumping in Rs 4,000 crore by is expected to increase from 6 per cent to 24 per
preferential allotment of shares at Rs 170 per cent. Currently, both Apollo and Fortis have equal
share. IHH’s holding in Fortis will be minimum revenue share of 17 per cent each.
31 per cent to maximum 57 per cent as after the
initial deal of preferential shares IHH will make The expectations over revenue are likely
a separate cash open offer to acquire 26 per cent to materialise as there is a constant growth of
more shares. patients in private hospitals. APWC report on
healthcare of 2017 points out that there has
Although the board has accepted the bid been a constant rise in hospitalisation in private
the subsequent technical formalities like facilities in the last few years. In rural areas
shareholders’ approval and green signal from the rise is marginal of 2 per cent from 1995-
the government authorities are still awaited. The 96 to 2004. It was 56 per cent in 1995-96 and
company has decided to take shareholders’ nod increased to 58 per cent in 2004 and remained
for the deal on August 14. Those connected with the same in 2014. But the figures in urban areas
the deal appear to be confident of sailing through for the corresponding years show sharp increase
the technicalities and complete the deal in a from 57 per cent to 68 per cent. On the other
course of time. hand investors too are showing confidence
in healthcare sector with four key IPOs by
For quite a long time Fortis’s take over was healthcare sector organisations in 2016-17
under discussion and several bidders from India oversubscribing.
as well as abroad were interested in controlling
India’s largest private hospital group. It included Though the sector is on a growth path, the
Japanese drug maker Daiichi Sankyo, Hero- turn-around of an organisation facing financial
Burman (of Dabur) consortium, Manipal TGP problem is not so easy. As known, Fortis was
consortium and Radiant Life Care backed by due to take over spree from 2010 to 2012 which
US private equity firm KKR. IHH finally won by resulted into Rs 7000 crore debt for Fortis. It
outbidding others. posted net losses of Rs 932 crores for a quarter.
EBIDTA margin of its hospital business has also
While the technicalities with shareholders and fallen to 12.1 per cent and the diagnostic business
government agencies are expected to sail through, has seen a drop in EBIDTA in a quarter from 20
some hitches are still apparently visible as one per cent to 15.6 per cent. The occupancy level is
of the bidders has approached the Delhi court also steadily dropping.
seeking to stop the deal. Till this issue had gone
for printing the court had issued notices to Fortis The IHH has reportedly prepared a plan to
and its earlier promoters. This litigation between turn around Fortis in 100 days. Industry insiders
Daiichi and erstwhile promoters had in fact held feel that the IHH CEO Tan See Leng has the
back IHH for some time from completing the deal leadership capabilities and qualities to deliver
due to concern over the effects of the case. results of the plan. When his plan succeeds people
will be able to see a different Fortis than what they
However, IHH changed its position later and had been seeing for over a year.
finally won the bid. Probably it saw the prospects
in the deal of strengthening its position in India, Milind Kokje
despite the legal battle. With this deal IHH Chief Editor
will be increasing its number of beds from the
[email protected]


Vol 16; Issue 07; July 2018

Health Coverage Biotech Drivers

Although India has committed Biotechnology startups are
to Universal Health Coverage definitely serving as key drivers
(UHC), it may take years to for growth for the past few
achieve. Also, there is a need to years. It is a matter of time when
scale up the health workforce in the biotech startups number
our country. Regular features on in India will reach 2000. Keep
this topic should be covered. writing about biotech startups in
your magazine.
- Monica Rao, New Delhi
- Dr Shiv Kumar, Mumbai
Genetic Burden
Current Research
Congenital and hereditary
genetic diseases are becoming The interviews conducted with
a significant health burden in Department of Biotechnology
India, and hence there is a need (DBT) and the Indian Council
for adequate and effective genetic of Medical Research (ICMR)
testing and counselling services. were very informative. Thank
An interesting and important you for keeping the readers
article covered. updated.

- Ritu Shah, Ahmedabad - Raghu Raj, Bengaluru

Vol 16; Issue 08; August 2018 MM Activ Sci-Tech Communications

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India launches national healthcare registry

The Union ministry of health and Approximately 4,000 trained state government for optimisation
family welfare recently launched professionals are working with of health resources, making
the National Health Resource dedication to approach every ‘live’ and realistic state project
Repository (NHRR), the first ever healthcare establishment to collect implementation plans (PIPs)
registry in the country registry information. and improving accessibility of
of authentic, standardised and data at all levels, including state
updated geo-spatial data of all It shall also enhance the heads of departments, and thus
public and private healthcare. coordination between central and decentralise the decision making
The Indian Space Research at district and state level.
Organisation (ISRO) is the project
technology partner for providing The NHRR project aims
data security. to strengthen evidence-based
decision making and develop a
This resource repository platform for citizens and provider-
shall enable advanced research centric services by creating a
towards ongoing and forthcoming robust, standardised and secured
healthcare challenges arising from Information Technology (IT)-
other determinants of health such enabled repository of India’s
as disease and the environment. healthcare resources.

Cabinet approves Assam, Tata Trusts join
hands for Cancer Care
MoU with Bahrain
The Government of Assam and the Tata Trusts has set forth on their
for healthcare joint initiative of establishing a comprehensive cancer care network
in the state, with Sarbananda Sonowal, the Chief Minister of Assam,
The Union Cabinet chaired Amit Shah, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, Dr. Himanta Biswa
by Prime Minister Narendra Sarma, the Health Minister of Assam, and Ratan N. Tata, Chairman of
Modi has approved the the Tata Trusts, together unveiling the foundation stones of 19 modern
signing of a Memorandum cancer care facilities that will dot the state. The Government of Assam
of Understanding (MoU) and the Trusts have set up the
between India and Bahrain Assam Cancer Care Foundation,
on cooperation in the field of dedicated to this initiative.
Healthcare. The MoU covers
the exchange of information Of these 19 facilities, 12
including publications and will be comprehensive cancer
research outcomes; exchanging care centres on the premises
visits by governmental officials, of Government Medical
academic staff, scholars, Colleges in the state. Located
teachers, experts and students; at Barpeta, Dhubri, Diphu,
participating in workshops and Jorhat, Karimganj, Kokrajhar,
training courses; encouraging Lakhimpur, Nagaon, Nalbari,
health and medical research Silchar, Tezpur, and Tinsukia they will offer diagnosis and treatment of
activities at both the private- cancer cases. Another five will be adjacent to District Hospitals. Located
sector and the academic at Darrang, Goalpara, Golaghat, Haflong, and Sivasagar, they will offer
level; and any other forms of diagnostic and day care services, including chemotherapy.
cooperation as may be mutually
decided upon. A Working Assam Medical College, Dibrugarh, will be upgraded to an apex
Group will be set up to further cancer centre with education and public health research capabilities.
elaborate the details of The State Cancer Institute (SCI) in Guwahati will be expanded to a 500-
cooperation and to oversee the bed South Asia Research Centre. This network will become operational
implementation of this MoU. beginning April 2019. It is designed to ensure that no patient has to
travel more than a few hours for accessing full suite of cancer treatment
within the public system so that care is affordable.


Gujarat to set up USFDA approves
rapid microbio testing lab
Gujarat Food and Drug Control contamination in medicines
Administration (FDCA) is all imported and exported as per neurostimulation
set to create a benchmark in global regulatory requirements.
terms of testing and analysis of Drug regulators are also being device
contamination of pharmaceutical equipped on areas of data Integrity
products through setting up of to meet FDA expectations The U.S. Food and Drug
Asia’s first government rapid and how to ensure a robust Administration (USFDA)
microbiological testing lab. The quality control (QC) system. has cleared an auricular
lab which is now being validated Meanwhile, Gujarat FDCA and neurostimulation device
and calibrated is scheduled to US FDA have also collaborated manufactured by a
become operational soon to check for training the drug control Chennai company to
officials in Gujarat on par with treat the symptoms of
the US FDA inspectors to audit opioid withdrawal without
pharmaceutical facilities. In line narcotics. The device,
with this development, Gujarat Drug Relief, is made by
Medical Services Corporation DyAnsys India for its U.S.
Limited (GMSCL) has collaborated affiliate, DyAnsys Inc.
with BioMérieux. An MoU has Drug Relief, is available by
also been signed with Gujarat prescription for use during
FDCA as part of the strategic opioid detoxification. This
partnership to usher in knowledge wearable device sends
sharing on microbiological electrical pulses through
testing technologies for the tiny needles inserted
pharmaceutical sector. in the ear to alleviate
symptoms such as anxiety,
20 states sign MoU for agitation, depression,
implementing AB-NHPM nausea, opiate cravings
and more. Drug Relief is
J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare exchanged the a percutaneous electrical
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the State Health Ministers of nerve field stimulator
20 States marking their commitment towards the launch of the Ayushman designed to administer
Bharat – National Health auricular neurostimulation
Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) treatment over 120
at a Health Ministers conclave, hours. The non-addictive
in New Delhi recently. Ashwini treatment allows for
Kumar Choubey and Anupriya continuous nerve
Patel, Ministers of State for stimulation for five days
Health and Family Welfare, while offering the patient
Amitabh Kant, CEO NITI Aayog, a high degree of comfort
Dr. Vinod Paul, Member Health, and mobility. According
NITI Aayog, Preeti Sudan, to providers, patients
Secretary (Health) and Indu may see a reduction in
Bhushan, CEO, AB-NHPM, symptoms within 30 to
were also were also present at 60 minutes of beginning
the function. treatment. The device eases
detoxification, the first
The Union Health Minister stated that health is at the centre-stage step in a comprehensive
and the Government is looking at it holistically. He said that AB-NHPM rehabilitation program.
will protect the people and at the same time Health and Wellness Centres The objective is to relieve
(HWCs) will deliver comprehensive primary health care. symptoms while opioids
are cleared from a patient’s


Piramal Enterprises sells Piramal Imaging to UK firm

Piramal Enterprises Ltd has The transaction also involves in 2012 with the acquisition of the
sold its entire stake in Piramal deferred consideration that will molecular imaging research and
Imaging SA to the UK-based be subject to future profits of the development portfolio of Bayer
medical imaging services provider company. Piramal Imaging, a Pharma AG. The company is
Alliance Medical Acquisitionco step-down subsidiary of Piramal aimed at development and global
Ltd. The sale was done at a base Enterprises, reported revenue commercialization of innovative
consideration of $1 plus about from operations of Rs 127.48 molecular imaging agents that
$1.18 million toward working crore in the fiscal year ended 31 improve early detection and
capital adjustment on completion March 2018. characterization of chronic and
of the sale. life-threatening diseases.
Piramal Imaging was formed

SeaLink injects fresh funds Ferring Pharma invests $250M
in new Hyderabad facility
in Surya Children’s Medicare
Switzerland-based Ferring Pharmaceuticals has
Mid-market private equity firm SeaLink Capital recently laid the foundation for its R&D laboratory and
Partners has invested Rs 200 crore in mother- manufacturing facility at Genome Valley, Hyderabad.
and child-care company Surya Children’s The new facility will also add to the group’s global
Medicare Pvt. Ltd, marking its second bet from its R&D capabilities and will cater to building a pool of
debut fund. The transaction included an infusion novel research for emerging healthcare challenges
of growth capital into Surya and a purchase of around the world.
the stake held by the company’s first external
healthcare investor OrbiMed. Ferring plans to complete the project in three
phases with a total proposed investment of $250
The healthcare company specialises in high- million, with an estimated Rs 235 crores into the first
risk maternity, neonatal and paediatric intensive phase itself. Minister for Industries, IT, MA & UD,
care. It has a presence in Mumbai, Pune, Thane Government of Telangana, K Taraka Rama Rao and
and Jaipur and has plans to expand in the next several dignitaries including senior TSIIC officials took
few years. part in the ceremony.

The company operates in an unregulated Ferring Pharmaceuticals deals with reproductive
market where the rising pre-term birth rates and medicine and women’s health with strong presence
maternal complications have created a need to in areas within gastroenterology and urology. The
improve clinical outcomes. Moreover, almost 30 group has headquarters in St Prex, Switzerland with
per cent of India’s population is under the age a portfolio of manufacturing facilities across Europe,
of 14 and requires both preventive and curative North America, South America, China and India
paediatric care. There is a significant undersupply marketing its products in over 110 countries.
of paediatric hospital beds in the country with an
estimated deficit of nearly 200,000 beds.


Boiron launches pre-medicated Lupin, Mylan to
homeopathic medicines
Boiron India, subsidiary of globules are manufactured in-
house with a two-week long Enbrel Biosimilar
Boiron France, worldwide process and a proprietary
technology to ensure uniform Pharma major Lupin Limited and
leader in homeopathy has size, layered formation and global pharmaceutical company
optimal porosity for retention Mylan have announced that the
launched pre-medicated of the dilution. A proprietary two companies will partner to
triple medication system commercialize a biosimilar to Enbrel
standardised homeopathic ensures uniform absorption (etanercept). Through the partnership
of the dilution to the core of agreement, Mylan will commercialize
medicines for the first time in the globules. This innovative Lupin’s proposed etanercept biosimilar
global product called in Europe, Australia, New Zealand,
India. The initiative will boost ‘Boiron Tubes’ provides the Latin America, Africa and most
homeopathic remedies in an markets throughout Asia. Enbrel
homeopathy standards and innovative delivery system. is a TNF-inhibitor indicated to
Boiron Tubes provide patients treat certain autoimmune diseases,
ensure patients have access with ease-of-use & guaranteed including rheumatoid arthritis,
delivery of the right dose. psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis
to high quality and reliable and ankylosing spondylitis. Enbrel had
global brand sales of approximately
homeopathic products. $11.6 billion for the 12 months ending
Dec. 31, 2017, according to IQVIA.
Available globally, the Lupin successfully completed its
Etanercept biosimilar Phase 3 clinical
pre-medicated globules trial in February 2018. Lupin has
filed the product with the European
in innovative packaging Medicines Agency and plans to file the
product in other jurisdictions. Under
provides superior quality, the terms of the agreement, Lupin
will receive an up-front payment of
convenience and experience $15 million and potential commercial
milestones together with an equal
compared to traditional share in net profits of the product.

homeopathy products. The

Eli Lilly, Cipla sign distribution agreement for diabetes drug

Cipla has entered into a partnership with Eli Lilly and Co (India) Pvt. Ltd.,
a 100 per cent subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Company, a global multinational
pharmaceutical leader, for the marketing and distribution of Lilly’s
Basaglar (insulin glargine injection) in India. Under this agreement, Lilly’s
Basaglar will be marketed and distributed in India by Cipla. It expects to
start commercialising Basaglar in India by end of the year 2018.

Diabetes continues to be a focus area for Cipla and with the launch of
strong brand like Basaglar, Cipla will be at the forefront of providing a
holistic diabetes care with the most comprehensive portfolio across orals
and injectables. Cipla’s focus continues to revolve around care continuum
approach for the patients it serves and create greater access to high
quality treatment and medication. According to Eli Lilly, this strategic
partnership leverages the company’s commitment to bring innovation
to people suffering from diabetes in India and Cipla’s strong on-ground
footprint across the country.


Neuberg Diagnostics AstraZeneca
partners with Premaitha Health
to market
Neuberg Diagnostics has partnered with UK’s Premaitha Health
for transfer of DNA analysis technology for non-invasive prenatal Durvalumab
testing to detect genetic conditions in unborn babies.
in India
According to Neuberg, the IONA test (developed by Premaitha)
is accurate in detecting risks that an unborn child carries for AstraZeneca Pharma India
genetic disorders like Down’s syndrome, Edward’s syndrome and Limited recently announced that
Patau’s syndrome. The test developed by the UK-based molecular it has received Import & Market
diagnostics company uses next generation sequencing technology permission for Durvalumab (Imfinzi)
to estimate the risk of a foetus having genetic disorders. in India by the Drug Controller
General of India (DCGI). The receipt
The test is conducted by analysing foetal DNA collected from of this permission paves way for
a sample of maternal blood and has a higher detection rate than the launch of durvalumab (Imfinzi)
current available tests. Testing of the high-tech technology will be in India, subject to the receipt of
carried out at Neuberg’s laboratory in Ahmedabad. further related statutory approvals
and licenses. Durvalumab provides
a treatment option for patient with
locally advanced, unresectable Non-
Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)
and metastatic urothelial carcinoma.
Durvalumab is a patented product
of AstraZeneca global. AstraZeneca’s
Durvalumab is a part of a new class
of immunotherapy drugs known as
‘checkpoint inhibitors’. Some forms
of bladder and lung cancer use the
PD-L1 protein to evade the immune
system. Durvalumab, is a human
monoclonal antibody that binds to
PD-L1 and blocks the interaction
of PD-L1 with PD-1 and CD80,
countering the tumour’s immune-
evading tactics and releasing the
inhibition of immune responses.

APAC Biotech, Diakonos to bring new Immunotherapy to India

India-based APAC Biotech and technologies in its ability to immunotherapy for the treatment
US-Based Diakonos Research generate durable immunological of cancer since over a decade.
have signed a first-of-its- memory. On the basis of pre- Their product APCEDEN was
kind technology transfer and clinical animal data shared developed after a thorough
licensing agreement to bring by Dr William Decker and his research based on the principles
new immunotherapy technology research team at Baylor College of Immunology.
to India as an advancement of of Medicine, APAC Biotech plans
immuno-oncology therapeutics to launch phase II clinical trials In the trials conducted by
for solid tumors. in India for advanced brain and APAC Biotech in the past with
pancreatic cancers that have APCEDEN, an overall response of
This new path breaking limited treatment options. 42.1 % (irRC) was demonstrated
technology effectively targets in patients with advanced
and activates the tumor antigen APAC Biotech is involved refractory solid cancers and
specific CTL-response and in research and manufacturing APCEDEN was approved by the
is differentiated from peer of Dendritic cell-based Indian FDA in March 2017.


Accel, IDG lead $19M Series B round for SigTuple

Artificial Intelligence (AI) based conducting clinical trials, products images of blood cells. Using
health tech startup SigTuple has distribution and expanding its its own software, the machine
raised $19 million in its Series B footprint into other markets. can recognise blood samples to
round led by Accel Partners and Besides, the startup is looking for quantify normal and abnormal
IDG Ventures. Existing investors of a sales and support teams as well. cells and to track sperm cells.
the Bengaluru-based startup such Founded in 2015, SigTuple has
as Endiya Partners, pi Ventures, built hardware and software using
Binny Bansal along with their artificial intelligence technology
new investors VH Capital, Axilor to digitize pathological tests. The
Ventures and Trifecta Capital, startup has developed a low-cost
also participated in the round. system for scanning blood, urine
The fresh funds will be allocated and semen samples, which uses
for research and development, AI to recognise microscopic

Medewise, IAP launch GlobalSpace
mobile vaccination apps
Tech acquires
Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) in association with Kolkata-
based startup Medewise Technology Solutions Private Limited has stake in health
launched mobile applications for child health management and
immunization in Vadodara. tech startup

The apps were launched as a part of the two-day Infectious GlobalSpace Technologies
Diseases and Vaccinology Conference with Essentials of Pediatric Ltd, a fast-growing new-age
Infectious Diseases course organized by IAP, IAP Infectious Diseases technology company has
Chapter and Vadodara branch of Academy of Pediatrics. acquired 70.80 per cent stake
in Miljon Medi APP for an
According to IAP, over two million children under the age of five undisclosed sum. Miljon Medi
die every year in the country and another one million or more are APP is a health tech startup
disabled for life. A major cause is that parents often forget to vaccinate with B2B digital platform
the child on time. that connects generics
pharmaceutical manufacturers
IAP had pioneered the Immunize India reminder service to to the entire pharma channel
increase vaccination compliance and provide better care and coverage till retail chemist. Company
to children all over the country. With the launch of MedEPed and claims to have some of the
Medewise Kids Pro – the two mobile apps for child healthcare, IAP leading generics manufacturers
is taking child healthcare to the next level by leveraging technology, already on the platform with an
connectivity and data. existing network of around 73
distributors & 9380 chemists
as its active users. Company’s
vision is to enable quality and
certified generics reach the last
mile so as to benefit the patients.
For GlobalSpace, it is a strategic
acquisition which would
further consolidate its vision of
creating truly integrated digital
healthcare ecosystem. Company
is having thought leadership
in creating digital platform for
pharma sales force & doctors.


Diagnostic startup Theranosis raises funding

Specialised diagnostics startup which detects circulating
Theranosis Life Sciences Pvt tumour cells from a blood
Ltd, which focuses on the sample of a cancer patient.
oncology space, has raised This procedure, called liquid
an undisclosed amount from biopsy, is a less invasive
Mumbai Angels Network. method and diminishes severe
adverse effects triggered
The Hyderabad-based by chemotherapy. Another
startup is exploring non- beneficial outcome is that it
invasive diagnostics for monitors treatment responses
cancer patients. The company in real time.
has developed a chip device

NirogStreet raises Rs 2Cr Clinivantage
from Japanese investor
secures $1M
Technology-led ayurveda institutions and researchers
platform NirogStreet has to advance ayurvedic research from US investor
raised about Rs 2 crore and collaboration with
from investors, including modern medical technologies. Mumbai-based healthtech
Japanese venture fund Spiral Incubated at CSIR – IIIM, startup Clinivantage Healthcare
Ventures. The other investors NirogStreet streamlines Technologies has raised $1
were Subho Ray (President, learning, sharing expertise million from US-based investor
IAMAI) and Samir Kumar and exchange second opinion group Metaform Ventures
(Director of Derivatives, on treatments through its LLC. Clinivantage will use the
Deutsche Bank, Singapore). mobile app. It has over newly raised funds to scale
15,000 doctors engaged on and expand across the globe,
The company plans to its platform. The technology- for product development,
use the money to improve driven platform provides deployment of resources for
technology and to spread access to authentic ayurveda implementation, and for travel
awareness about Ayurveda. doctors at a world-wide level and administration.
The company looks to raise to implement best practices
pre-Series A funding in and deliver quality healthcare Founded in 2016, Clinivantage
October. NirogStreet has and genuine medicines. is an integrated digital platform
been working with ayurveda that connects doctors, hospitals,
caregivers, and service providers
with the patient in real time and
puts patients in control of their
health, bringing speed, simplicity,
transparency, and efficiency to
patient care.

The startup offers a
flagship PaaS (Platform-as-a-
Service) across IoA (Internet
of Applications) products
and the DoTTM (Doctor of
Things)-connected IoT medical
devices. The company claims
to have registered over 5,000
outpatient practices, more than
1,000 secondary and tertiary
hospitals, over 3,000 allied
services providers, and more
than 6.5 million consumers on its platform.


WHO certifies WHO prequalifies
Paraguay malaria free
Strides Shasun’s
The World Health Organization eliminate malaria, a significant
(WHO) has certified Paraguay as public health challenge for a country RAS product
having eliminated malaria, the that reported more than 80000
first country in the Americas to cases of the disease in the 1940s. As Indian drug firm Strides
be granted this status since Cuba a result, Paraguay registered its last Shasun has received pre-
in 1973. In 2016, WHO identified case of Plasmodium falciparum qualification from the World
Paraguay as one of 21 countries malaria in 1995, and P. vivax Health Organization (WHO)
with the potential to eliminate malaria in 2011. A five-year plan for its rectal artesunate
malaria by 2020. Through to consolidate the gains, prevent product for the pre-referral
the E-2020 initiative, WHO is re-establishment of transmission management of severe
supporting these countries as and prepare for elimination malaria. The pre-qualification
they scale up activities to become certification was launched in 2011. from the WHO for the
malaria-free. Other E-2020 Activities focused on robust case 100mg rectal artesunate
countries in the Americas include management, engagement with suppositories (RAS) has
Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El communities, and education to been achieved with support
Salvador, Mexico and Suriname. make people more aware of ways from Medicines for Malaria
From 1950 to 2011, Paraguay to prevent malaria transmission, Venture (MMV) and funding
systematically developed policies and about diagnosis and treatment from Unitaid. This pre-
and programmes to control and options. qualification enables countries
to procure life-saving RAS
with donor funding, thus
ensuring increased access
to this potentially life-
saving intervention. The
company will now leverage its
significant presence in Africa
to register and distribute
the product where needed
on the continent. To this
end, dossiers have already
been submitted in 25 of the
countries that could benefit

WHO releases new International Classification of Diseases

The World Health Organization (WHO) is set to release its new International
Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). The ICD is the foundation for identifying
health trends and statistics worldwide, and contains around 55 000 unique
codes for injuries, diseases and causes of death. It provides a common
language that allows health professionals to share health information across
the globe. ICD-11, which has been over a decade in the making, provides
significant improvements on previous versions. For the first time, it is
completely electronic and has a much more user-friendly format. And there
has been unprecedented involvement of health care workers who have joined
collaborative meetings and submitted proposals. The ICD team in WHO
headquarters has received over 10000 proposals for revisions. ICD-11 will be
presented at the World Health Assembly in May 2019 for adoption by Member
States, and will come into effect on 1 January 2022. This release is an advance
preview that will allow countries to plan how to use the new version, prepare
translations, and train health professionals all over the country.


SPARK to synergize
science activity in India

To take early stage successes to commercialization, the government of India proposes

SPARK (Sustainable Progress through Application of Research and Knowledge)

programme to initiate the synergizing of science activity in India.
The past few years have been transformational
for the Indian biotech and medtech startup of Science & Technology (DST) and Indian Council of
ecosystem. India now stands at a threshold of Medical Research (ICMR). So, overall it has actually
become a zoo. Yes, the regulatory aspect is completely

explosion with more than 500 ventures passionately unclear. We have recently had a meeting in order to

advancing innovation to markets. However, a resolve this regulatory issue, and I am sure things will

significant continuing impediment is the regulatory fall into place very soon. This is applicable not only for
headwinds and timeline in accessing raw materials, the medtech sector but for other sectors as well. The

getting timely product approvals and penetrating government needs to be pushed and partnered with to

markets. get clarity on the regulatory pipeline. Things are much

Within the subset of startups that are pursuing more more sorted at the regulatory end with the engineering
complex and globally benchmarkable innovation, there based startups on the other hand. So we need to set up

are ventures engaged in therapeutics for rare diseases, groups and move in the right direction in order to get

next generation solutions such as gene therapy and more clarity on the regulatory aspects”.

emerging areas of regenerative medicine. While India During the session, he also elaborated upon
does have a guideline for stem cell therapies, there is the funding issues biotech startups usually face. As

significant gap in the overall landscape of possibilities discussed in our previous edition, availability of equity

under regenerative medicine as well as gene therapy. funding is comparatively easier for medical devices and

The Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre (BBC), an diagnostics ventures while drug discovery ventures

initiative of Karnataka Biotechnology and Information have greater hardships finding first two rounds of

Technology Services (KBITS), Department of IT, BT equity capital with the appropriate risk profile.

and S&T, Government of Karnataka with a liberal “The SPARK (Sustainable Progress through

funding support from Department of Biotechnology Application of Research and Knowledge) programme

(DBT), Government of India, had organized a meeting has been proposed to initiate the synergizing of

with a number of biotech entrepreneurs. The highlight science activity in India. Under this programme,

of the session was an elaborate interaction with Prof K we are forming a committee chaired by me and the
VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to Cabinet Secretary, to take early stage successes to

the Government of India. commercialization. We intend to list the whole set of

The event was also attended by Dr Raja M, early successes and in each case connect them with

CEO, Genotypic Technology, Dr Sudha Rao, CEO, potential investors. We plan to pick all successful
Dhiti Omics, Dr S Chandrashekran, MD, GeNei, Dr startups for national laboratories, incubators and

Jagadish Mittur, Principal Consultant- Biotechnology, associate them with a group of people to help prepare

Karnataka Biotechnology and Information Technology their dossier. The group will point out the strengths

Services (KBITS), Dr Anil R Chauhan, Sr. Advisor and weaknesses of each startup and help them in
Government relations, Association of Biotechnology moving ahead. So accordingly we will help the startups

Led Enterprises (ABLE). to shop around for the potential investors. We are

Addressing the major concern of biotech trying to prepare a structure through SPARK in order

entrepreneurs Prof VijayRaghavan said, “MedTech to help the startups. In line with this, we are working
regulations now are technically with the Drug with Invest India, a non-profit venture set up under

Controller, for some complex sort of reasons. If some the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion,

technology is classified equivalent to a drug, then Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Government of

the Drug Controller regulates it. But MedTech is India”, shared Prof K VijayRaghavan.
supposed to be under the pharma ministry, in terms of Dr Manbeena Chawla

promotional medtech. It is funded by DBT, Department [email protected]


Road Ahead for

Towards strengthening the emerging Committee (SC) comprising of members from various
Ministries; and the Program Technical Advisory Group
biotechnology enterprise in India, (TAG) comprising of global and national leaders
from industry and academia, to provide oversight
Department of Biotechnology (DBT), to the National Biopharma Mission. In December
2017, BIRAC issued the first round of Request for
Ministry of Science & Technology has Applications (RFAs) under the Mission in alignment
to its objectives soliciting proposals from academia
initiated the Mission programme entitled: and industry focusing on development of (i) Vaccines
for Pneumococcus, Dengue, HPV and candidates for
Industry-Academia Collaborative Mission other diseases of high burden in India (ii) Biosimilars
for cancer, diabetics and rheumatoid arthritis and
for Accelerating Discovery Research to Early (iii) Medical devices and diagnostics (iv) Process
Development Laboratory; Chemistry, Manufacturing,
Development for Biopharmaceuticals – Control Units and cGLP validation facility for
Bio therapeutics. Through a three tier screening
“Innovate in India (i3) Empowering biotech process potential proposals have been shortlisted for
financial support at this stage. In sequel there will be
entrepreneurs & accelerating inclusive launch of series of RFAs in 2018 under the Mission
to strengthen infrastructure, skill development
innovation”. The National Biopharma and technology transfer capabilities. Further to
train the next generation of clinician-scientists and
Mission approved by the Cabinet in May health professionals involved in clinical research,
National Biopharma Mission organized a course on
2017 at a total cost of $250 million for five the “Principles and Practice of Clinical Research’, at
Hyderabad in April 16-21, jointly with NIH-USA under
years with 50 per cent funding through the aegis of Indo-US Vaccine Action Programme of
DBT. DBT envisages that this programme will help
World Bank loan is being implemented deliver 6-10 new products in the next five years, create
several dedicated facilities for next-generation skills,
by Biotechnology Industry Research and hundreds of jobs in the process.

Assistance Council (BIRAC) - a Public “The aim of the mission is to accelerate early
leads through the product development pipeline
Sector Undertaking of DBT. Now with the to ensure they reach the market in a time-bound
manner. This mission is not for new discovery, but for
completion of a year, BioSpectrum looks creating infrastructure to move important
early leads, which are in different stages,
at the updates about the Mission and its through the pipeline, and come out
with products. The mission will follow
achievements so far. a consortium-based approach, wherein
academia and industry working in an
The National Biopharma Mission was identified area will be encouraged to
formally launched on June 30, 2017 and work together. The government
the legal agreement with World Bank for will handhold them through
flexible financing arrangements for this Mission of various regulatory processes
Department of Biotechnology (DBT), was executed on so that product development
April 24, 2018. The Mission aims to make India a hub can be hastened”, shares
for design and development of novel, affordable and Dr Renu Swarup,
effective biopharmaceutical products for combating Secretary, DBT.
public health concerns.

According to the DBT, this mission would
strengthen translational capability of academic
researchers; empower bio-entrepreneurs and SMEs
by decreasing the cost and risk during early stages of
product development and also elevate the innovation
quotient of the industry. The global experience of
World Bank would be instrumental in building
sustained global linkages, technical assistance and
knowledge flow between public and private partners
for business promotion in biotech sector.

Current Status

To initiate the Mission activities there have been
constitution of the Inter-Ministerial Steering


Prof K VijayRaghavan, Key Challenges for the
Principal Scientific Advisor to Biopharmaceutical Industry
the government of India says, “The
National Biopharma Mission, which ● Build Manufacturing facilities conforming to
is a Rs 1500 crore mission, is supposed USFDA & EU regulatory requirements
to set up a number of platforms such
as bioinformatics, genomic sequencing, ● Build GLP Certified protein characterization
mass spectrometry, drug discovery
and so on. Currently, we lack ● Establish
such platforms for the industry. Animal
Also, right now academic areas testing and
have intellectual capacity, a certain kind of technical facilities
resources but a next level of technicality is required to
move into the area of commercialization. Through this ● Establish
mission, we foresee a substantial investment in this Extensive
context so that it will allow the private sector to use Viral Testing
major facilities of a kind that is unthinkable for them Facilities
to have”.
● Confidentiality and IP protection
Industry View ● Shortage of Skilled manpower
● Reimbursement and insurance policies for
For the last one year, the thought of the National
Biopharma Mission has been creating waves within biopharma drugs
the biotech industry as well. ● Inadequate facilities

“This mission will inject a much needed boost to But alongside the announcement of the National
the Biopharmaceutical Sector with specific reference Biopharma Mission, the industry is also concerned
to the technological and product development about the addressal of the challenges India is currently
capabilities to a level that will be globally competitive facing in the biopharmaceuticals sector.
over the next decade, and transform the health
standards of India’s population through affordable “The major challenges that lie up ahead for
product development. If the biotechnology industry developing biopharmaceuticals in India include
operating landscape becomes more innovation long lead times for product development, skilled
friendly spurred by government’s policies and nudge manpower, rising costs and long gestation times for
with increased Academia – Industry – Government setting up manufacturing units. Also, longer research
interactions and focused business strategies, then the and clinical development timelines result in launches
industry could possibly grow at higher CAGR thereby closer to patent expiries in an increasingly competitive
increasing India’s share in the global Pharma market. market. The issue of regulatory scrutiny also comes
However, the primary challenge for the expansion in to play. Compliance to differing
of biopharmaceutical industry is the availability of requirements for global markets
experienced talent pool. Currently there is a wide gap becomes a challenge for the
between the quality of human capital available and company’s go-to commercialization
the needs of the biotech Sector. With a clear 5-10 year strategy. Global MNCs having
vision by the Government, students will be inspired significant economies of scale for
to take up courses which will further feed the ever development & manufacturing
lead to significantly
increasing need for skilled manpower in higher competition”,
the Sector. This will equip students mentions Dr. Murtaza
with both Theoretical and Practical Khorakiwala, MD,
skills. Extensive training on Wockhardt Ltd.
sophisticated instrumentation with
further specialization in the areas In the long run,
of their interest will make these it can only be hoped that this program will be able
students to be Industry ready and to address the existing challenges to an extent thus
will also slow down the outflow of enabling sustainable networks for collaboration
skilled manpower from the country”, between industry and academia, and supporting
points out Prashant Tewari, entrepreneurial ecosystem amongst many others.
MD, USV India.
Dr Manbeena Chawla
[email protected]


Building strong foundation
Today, both Central and State Governments
are making their earnest efforts to promote March, 2004, the Government of Andhra Pradesh
biotechnology activities in the country by setting (GoAP) constituted a Core Committee of Biotechnology
up biotechnology parks, incubators as well as pilot Incubation Centre (BTIC) which recommended a high
projects through public private partnership. level Programme Management Committee (PMC) and
a Technical Advisory and Resource Group (TARG)
The Hyderabad campus of IKP Knowledge Park to decide the organization management structure
(IKP) was set up as a not-for-profit research park in and operational arrangements, monitor and guide
1999. Over the years, IKP has raised over Rs. 114 crore the progress of BTIC implementation. The Society
and funded around 135 innovators/startups projects for Biotechnology Incubation Centre (SBTIC) was
across India in public health, medical technology, registered in 2005. The park started operations from
biotechnology, nutrition, agriculture and environment. 2009.

A year after that, in 2000, SIDBI Innovation & In 2005, the proposal for setting up of a
Incubation Centre (SIIC) at IIT Kanpur was set up in Biotechnology Incubator at Kerala Biotechnology Park
collaboration with Small Industries Development Bank was sanctioned at a total cost of Rs. 23.18 crore. The
of India (SIDBI) to foster innovation, research and construction of the biotechnology park on a 50-acre plot
entrepreneurial activities in technology related areas. is already on. As part of the first phase of the project,
the incubation centre has already been completed at the
Further on, Golden Jubilee Women’s Biotechnology centre.
Park was set up at Siruseri, Chennai, in 2001. Very
recently, MS Swaminathan Bio-Incubation Centre Also in 2005, the project for the Bangalore
supported by Biotechnology Industry Research Biotechnology Park was sanctioned at a total Project
Assistance Council (BIRAC), a unit of Department Cost of Rs 32.26 crore; with Karnataka Biotechnology
of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and and Information Technology Services (KBITS)
Technology was inaugurated within the campus. contribution of Rs 17.81 crore and DBT Contribution
of Rs 14.45 crore. Currently, the centre has 21 common
The Lucknow Biotech Park was set up jointly by the instrumentation facilities, 18 resident incubatees and 3
DBT, Government of India and Department of Science graduated incubatees.
and Technology, Government of Uttar Pradesh in the
year 2002 and it became fully functional in the year In 2007, the Odisha Government decided to

Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation
(MIDC) invited The Chatterjee Group to participate
as a majority partner in a project and subsequent to
this the International Biotech Park Limited (IBP)
was incorporated in 2003 in Hinjewadi near Pune
and became operational in a record time. This is
the first public-private biotechnology park initiative
in Maharashtra. It is a 81 acre Park dedicated to
Biotechnology in the field of Life Sciences, Chemical,
Pharmaceutical, Biotech products and processes. IBP
is the largest developed biotech park in India which
provides space for R & D as well as for manufacturing

A Biotech Incubation Centre has been set up
at Alexandria Knowledge Park, Genome Valley,
Hyderabad. After the sanctioning of the project in


develop a Biotech Pharma Park on 64 acres of land on the KIIT Technology Business Incubator (KIIT-TBI)
outskirts of Bhubaneswar and after competitive bidding, also started in 2009, as an initiative of Kalinga Institute
Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) was selected of Industrial Technology (KIIT) and supported by
as the developer and anchor tenant of the Biotech Park. National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship
The proposed park is yet to develop. Development Board (NSTEDB), Department of
Science & Technology (DST), Government of India.
In 2009, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms It is a registered Not for Profit Section (25) Company.
(C-CAMP), a DBT initiative, was established at National Since its inception, KIIT – TBI has provided a
Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) - Tata Institute of vibrant ecosystem for promoting innovations and
Fundamental Research (TIFR), Campus in Bengaluru. entrepreneurship development. Having established
as a premier university based incubation centre, KIIT
Around the same year, the project of setting up of – TBI has expanded its verticals in health care, Life
Guwahati Biotech Park Technology Incubation Centre sciences and social incubation.
(GBPIC) was sanctioned by the DBT. Government of
Assam (GoA) has recently allotted a land measuring To sustain the innovation chain of novel ideas
17 acres to Guwahati Biotech Park in proximity to IIT and enterprises, the Society for Biotechnology
Guwahati for setting up of GBPIC. Incubation Centre (SBTIC) was established in 2012,
as a collective effort of DBT, the then Government
Biotech Park, of Andhra Pradesh, and Council of Scientific &
Lucknow Industrial Research (CSIR) -Indian Institute of
Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT).
The Park was set up jointly by the Department of
Biotechnology, Government of India and Department Since January 2012, Pune based Venture
of Science and Technology, Government of Uttar Pradesh Centre has been a host to BIRAC-supported
in the year 2002 and became fully functional in the BioIncubator that supports start-ups working in
year 2007. It is the only functional Biotechnology Park the areas of biotechnology. The latest addition to
in North India, serving the State of Uttar Pradesh for the bioinnovation ecosystem is the BIRAC Regional
boosting biotech industry. The park has changed the Bioinnovation Centre (BRBC) at the centre.
paradigm of transferring biotechnology advancements
from laboratory to field and made sufficient contribution In 2014, the Bioincubator at Indian Institute
in initiating biotechnology related policy changes in the
state. for setting biotech industries.
The Biotech Park facilities include National
Key Features: The Biotech Park has Department of
Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) recognition and Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration
is registered under National Science and Technology Laboratories (NABL) and AYUSH accredited analytical and
Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), New quality assurance laboratory, molecular and microbiology
Delhi that accords approval for exemption of Service laboratories; NCS-TCP certified plant tissue culture unit,
Tax to Park and its incubatees. The Incubator – I and II biopesticides and biofertilizers units and GLP compliant
of Biotech Park are ISO 14001:2015 certified and offer solvent extraction pilot plant with downstream process
state of the art facilities to startups for incubation and facility. The park has attracted investment of more than
development of innovation led, high growth and Rs. 30 crore through its incubatee companies and is a
knowledge based bio-business and infrastructure facilities showcase of innovation industries and a model of active
collaboration between industries, research institutes
and academia. The major focus area of the park include


of Technology Madras (IIT-M) was inaugurated Very recently, a Bio-Incubator facility has been
and commenced operations in March 2015 with 4 inaugurated at School of Life Sciences, University of
incubatees. Hyderabad (UoH). The facility is supported by BIRAC.

The Biotechnology Business Incubation Facility Though the first biotech park came up in 1999, only
(BBIF) in New Delhi began its operation in October a handful of parks are successful in the last two decades
2014. It provides incubation support to biotech start- and operating in full capacity. And most of these parks
ups, enables access to specialized equipment and also / incubation centres are operating from south indian
provide experimental facilities, IP guidance, market states like Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh,
linkages etc. Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Kerala. This is because
of availability of skilled workforce, infrastructure
The Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre (BBC), an and logostics and support from the respective state
initiative of KBITS, Department of IT, BT and S&T, governments.
Government of Karnataka with a liberal funding
support from DBT, was established in 2015. It is located Besides there are many incubation centres
within the Bangalore Helix Biotechnology Park. operating with the support of government agencies
from institutes of excellence like IITs, universities and
Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone Limited (AMTZ) prominent colleges.
was incorporated on April 30, 2016. It is an enterprise
under the Government of Andhra Pradesh, a 270 acre At present, over 100 incubatees are working at
zone, dedicated for Medical Device Manufacturing. various bioincubation centres and biotech parks in
The zone with in-house high investment scientific India. We will be featuring most active, functional
facilities can help manufacturers reduce the cost of biotech parks and incubation centres spread across
manufacturing by more than 40-50 per cent. India namely -Lucknow Biotech Park, IKP Knowledge
Park, Venture Centre, IIT M Bioincubator, Golden
Among many others, the Government of Gujarat Jubilee Biotech Park for Women Society, Centre
through its nodal agency Gujarat State Biotechnology for Cellular And Molecular Platforms, Bangalore
Mission (GSBTM) is setting up a Biotechnology Park at Bioinnovation Centre, International Biotech Park.
Savli Industrial Estate at Vadodara. The proposed Park
would be developed as a Public-Private Venture in an Dr Manbeena Chawla
area of about 700 acres in three phases. [email protected]

healthcare, pharma biotechnology, agri- biotechnology, of License has been signed between the Biotech Park

environmental biotechnology, bioenergy and bioinformatics and Cadila Pharmaceuticals for the Bio-fertilizer facility

and bioservices. at the park”, shares Prof Pramod Tandon, CEO, Lucknow

“The focus of the Park is to promote growth of bio- Biotech Park.
Focus Areas: Healthcare, Plant Biotechnology,
pharma, agri-biotechnology and bio-service sectors by
Environmental Biotechnology, Agri-Biotechnology,
inviting biotech industry to the State; work in collaboration
Pharma Biotechnology andHealthcare
with state agencies and central institutes of R &D and Current Incubatees: ABC Genomics, Central

learning; and transform the society for higher crop Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP),

productivity, better human health, greater employment Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR), NISCO Agri

opportunities and improved quality of life. The Park plans Tech, PIRINCS Pharmaceuticals andNextec
Funding Support Schemes:
to achieve this by translation of technologies relevant to
● Technology Business Incubator (TBI) Project
health and nutrition, cleaner environment ● National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship

and enhanced farm production for Development Board, Department of Science and

overall growth of the state. Technology (NSTEDB) Seed Fund Support Scheme
● Technology Development Board (TDB) Seed
Very recently, a Deed
Support Scheme
● Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

(MSME) Support Grant
● Technopreneur Promotion Programme (TePP)
● Technology Incubation and Development of

Entrepreneurs (TIDE)
● Bioincubator Support Scheme
● Biotechnology Ignition Grant (BIG), BIRAC


International IKP Knowledge Park,
Biotech Park, Pune Hyderabad

International Biotech Park (IBP) is a joint venture IKP Knowledge Park is a 200-acre premier Science Park
between Maharashtra Industrial Development and Incubator in Hyderabad and Bangalore. It is set
Corporation (MIDC) and The Chatterjee Group up with the mission to create a world-class ecosystem
Real Estate (TCGRE). This is the first public-private for fostering leading-edge innovation in the country.
biotechnology park initiative in Maharashtra. MIDC IKP promotes the advancement of technology-based
invited The Chatterjee Group to participate as a innovators, entrepreneurs and small and large companies
majority partner in the project and subsequent through customized space, shared equipment, incubation,
to this the International Biotech Park Limited was mentorship, and funding. IKP has so far supported over 220
incorporated in 2003 and became operational in a companies from seven countries, 80 per cent of which are
record time. startups. The Hyderabad campus was set up as a not-for-
profit research park in 1999. With a goal of enhancing the
Key Features: IBP is a 81 acre Park dedicated startup ecosystem, IKP has so far raised over Rs. 114 crore
to Biotechnology in the field of Life Sciences, and funded around 135 innovators/startups projects across
Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Biotech products and India in public health, medical technology, biotechnology,
processes. IBP is the largest developed biotech park nutrition, agriculture and environment. IKP has supported
in India which provides space for R and D as well as and served over 260 companies and innovators, including
for manufacturing purposes. 200 startups and individual innovators. Out of this around
130 companies/innovators have graduated. Over 3,000
There is also a 25 acres of notified Special employees comprising of scientists, technicians and support
Economic Zone for Biotechnology products and staff of various companies work from the campus and
processes. Currently 75 per cent of the project around 250 patents have been filed by the park residents.
has been developed and occupied by leading
pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Key Features: IKP Grant Management Division manages
over Rs. 110 crore of committed funds in different areas
At present, the park is occupied by Lupin of healthcare and life sciences in partnership with the Bill
Pharmaceuticals, Ventri Biologicals, Sci- and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Biotechnology
Gen Biopharmaceuticals, Hikal Ltd., Centaur
Pharmaceuticals, Quantum CRO, Emcure
Pharmaceuticals, Sai Advantium, Gennova
Biopharmaceuticals, TCG Lifesciences, Omni Active,
Accor Hotels, Ari Healthcare Pvt. Ltd., Omega Dx
(Asia) Pvt. Ltd. and Tamanna Hotels.


Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), Department Bangalore Bioinnovation
of Biotechnology (DBT), US Agency for International Centre, Bengaluru
Development (USAID), Department of International
Development (DFID), Government of UK and Government of Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre (BBC) is envisioned
Karnataka. Apart from seed funding, IKP provides mentoring, to be a state of the art incubation centre catering to
networking and business development support to grantees. the needs of startups in the broad areas of Life Sciences.
BBC is an initiative of Karnataka Biotechnology and
a. Life Science Incubator (LSI)- It was set up within the Information Technology Services (KBITS), Department
Park as a division in the Financial Year 2005-06 with funding of IT, BT and S&T, Government of Karnataka with
from NSTEDB, DST, Government of India, with the objective a liberal funding support from Department of
of nurturing start-up companies and entrepreneurs working Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India. It is located
in the areas of healthcare, agriculture, food /nutrition, bio- within Bangalore Helix Biotechnology Park at Electronic
energy, industrial and environmental biotechnology, etc. City. The Centre is a world class Incubation Centre with
LSI nurtures innovation by providing modular lab space, Central Instrumentation Facility in a 10 acre campus
mentorship, shared common equipment, funding and with total built up area of above 50,000 sq ft.
facilitation of networking. Thus far 65 start-ups have been
incubated at LSI, out of which 52 have been graduated. LSI Key Features: The Centre is nestled between
has established a high-end analytical facility services with thriving academic institutions like Institute of
financial assistance from BIRAC (DBT) in FY 2012-13. Annual Biotechnology and Applied Biotechnology (IBAB),
revenue from analytical facility is Rs. 40 lakh in FY 2017-18 (4 Centre for Human Genetics and the upcoming area
per cent revenue from Incubatees and 96 per cent from IKP’s for anchoring big companies/MNC’s. Thus, the centre
Resident and Anchor Companies and other parties). provides a crucial link within the developing Bio-
cluster, the Bangalore Helix Biotech Park. The centre
b. IKP-EDEN: Inspired by TechShop and MIT FabLab, IKP caters to the broad areas of Life Sciences i.e, Healthcare
set up IKP-EDEN (Engineering, Design, and Entrepreneurship (MedTech/ Pharma/Bio-Pharma), Agriculture, Food/
Network) to help the product development ecosystem in Nutrition, Industrial Biotechnology and Environmental
Bangalore. IKP-EDEN is a membership-based Do-It-Yourself Biotechnology.
fabrication studio and a startup accelerator. Building on the
vast experience gained from helping Med-Tech startups and “Innovation and novel technologies that can
managing scientific research facilities, IKP is working towards address the issues of healthcare, food and environment
furthering engineering and hardware product design are the keys to human welfare. However, the seamless
startups. flow of ideas and research into productor technology
development relevant and viable with respect to the
social and market need is itself a challenge. BBC is a
unique set up with an objective to nurture”, points out
Dr Jitendra Kumar, MD, BBC.

● 100 per cent occupancy with 30 incubatees as of

● BIRAC grant of Rs 4.5 crore received for setting up

Med Tech Accelerator under BioNEST programme.
● Seed Fund Support of Rs 1 crore received to support

promising incubates on equity sharing basis.
● About 10 products/ technologies having huge

social impact ready for launch (tentatively during
BTS 2018).
● Around 15 patents filed and 40 more in process.
● Rs 3 crore grant received for K-SAP 50 mentorship
programme in association with C-CAMP.


Centre for Cellular And they will reach a position to seek loans from commercial
Molecular Platforms banks /financial institutions. Thus the proposed seed
(C-CAMP), Bengaluru support is positioned to act as a bridge between promoters’
investment and Venture/Angel investment. Alongside,
C-CAMP is an initiative of Department of Biotechnology, C-CAMP has partnered with BIRAC to implement the Social
Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of Innovation Immersion Program which is a fellowship scheme
India, with a mandate to be an enabler of cutting edge Life under Social Innovation program for Products: Affordable
Science Research and Innovation. C-CAMP is also a member and Relevant to Societal Health (SPARSH) which targets
of the Bangalore Life Sciences Cluster (BLiSC). the challenges associated with “Ageing and Health” with
focus on Geriatrics and Assertive Medical Technologies.
Key Features: Seed Funding - As a DBT funded
initiative, C-CAMP aims to support and nurture early-stage Key Features: Since its inception the Park has turned
highly innovative start-ups/ideas through Seed funding. over 500 skilled women entrepreneurs, technocrats and
C-CAMP has partnered with BIRAC for the Biotechnology workers; presently the park has close to 200 women
Ignition Grant (BIG) Scheme, which funds young companies entrepreneurs and technocrats and workers with 40% of
and individuals to establish proof-of-concept data for them being skilled. The Women workforce is at 60 per cent.
their exciting ideas in the field of life sciences. C-CAMP has
also partnered with BIRAC to implement the Sustainable The Park has set up an Incubation facility, the first of its
Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development Fund kind, supported by BIRAC (Biotechnology Industry Research
(SEED Fund) with the aim of providing early stage and Assistance Council) which will have a central Instrumentation
bridge funding to innovative technology driven life science facility. About 2,500 interns and about 100 incubatees/start-
start-ups. The basic idea of SEED Fund is providing Capital ups are likely to benefit from the Park activities before 2020.
assistance to startups with new and meritorious ideas, The future aim is to have a turnover of Rs. 200 crore by 2020.
innovations and technologies. This would enable some of
these start-ups to graduate to a level where they will be
able to raise investments from angel/Venture capitalist or

Golden Jubilee
Biotech Park for
Women Society,

The Park was set up with financial support, in form
of grant, from Department of Biotechnology
(DBT), Government of India, New Delhi and technical
support from M S Swaminathan Research Foundation
in the 20 acres land allotted by the Government of
Tamil Nadu and implemented by Tamilnadu Industrial
Development Corporation (TIDCO). The Park began
its commercial operations in 2001 and over the years
has proved to be a successful and unique venture in
women entrepreneur development in the Biotech
Sector. The Park has been designed based on the
principle of decentralised production supported
by centralised services to promote a series of
biotechnology based enterprises in the areas of Agro,
Food and Nutrition, Medical and Healthcare with a
huge focus on mentoring, training, capacity building
and providing escort services.


C-CAMP has partnered with the Ministry of Micro, Small industry veterans, domain experts and successful
and Medium Entreprises (MSME) as well under the ‘Support entrepreneurs guides them in building and developing their
for Entrepreneurial and Managerial Development of SME’s entrepreneurial ventures to become successful businesses.
through Incubators’ scheme. Through this partnership, The Mentorship Program is of 18 months duration, where
C-CAMP aims to provide young start-ups with early stage the mentors and mentees interact with each other in an
seed funding or gap funding to take their innovative environment of trust where the mentee discusses issues
technologies closer to commercialization. related to his venture and the mentor shares his expertise,
experience, knowledge; sets goals and provides a direction
Mentorship: The Mentorship Program at C-CAMP to attain these goals; provides introduction to other experts
nurtures budding entrepreneurs who are funded by BIRAC’s in his or her personal network and generally guides the
BIG Scheme. An eminent Panel of Mentors comprising mentee to make good business decisions. During the course
of the 18 months C-CAMP conducts workshops, boot-camps
MS Swaminathan Bio-Incubation Centre supported as well as provides networking opportunities to make
by BIRAC was inaugurated by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, union possible comprehensive mentorship.
minister, Ministry of Science & Technology in the
presence of Prof. M S Swaminathan, Founder Chairman, Licensing: At C-CAMP, the Intellectual Property
Golden Jubilee Biotech Park for Women on 16th October Management Office (IPMO) and Technology Transfer
2017. Office (TTO) have been established to allow researchers in
lifesciences from the Bangalore Bio Cluster (BBC) to realize
“The infrastructure includes shed modules of the commercial potential of their exciting inventions and
1000 sq ft x 20 in 1.2 acres; land modules in 9.2 acres; innovative research. The IPMO and TTO work with BBC
a new incubation facility housed in 5000 sq ft area, researchers and scientists all over India to protect their IP
supported by BIRAC which, is available as a plug in and commercialise new technologies in collaborations
facility for the incubates and another 2.8 acres available with and through C-CAMP’s legal firms (KandS Partners and
for expansion. While the shed modules need to be Lakshmikumaran and Sridharan), industrial and commercial
fully furnished by the woman entrepreneur, the new partners (CSIR Tech and BCIL).
incubation facility provides a complete wet –lab facility
consisting of equipment for microbial/molecular/cell BIRAC Regional Entrepreneurship Centre (BREC)
culture, bio-processing and analytics. They also have The Biotechnology Industrial Research Assistance Council
access to office space and other amenities like business (BIRAC) in partnership with C-CAMP has set up the BIRAC
rooms / training hall etc. One of the strongest vertical Regional Entrepreneurship Centre (BREC) with an objective
is training and the young scientific team at the Park of encouraging the spirit of bio-entrepreneurship, facilitating
plays a large role in interacting with a lot of interns the creation of life science start-ups and mentoring start-ups
from various colleges in the city and outside. A unique to increase their chances of success. The aim of BREC would
initiative is a MoU with Spinco Biotech to help in the be to foster and facilitate bio-entrepreneurship including
training component in the analytical part under their imparting bio-entrepreneurs necessary knowledge and skills
CSR activity”, shares Dr Sudha Nair, CEO, Golden Jubilee for transforming innovative biotech ideas into successful
Biotechnology Park for Women Society. and sustainable ventures, which create national and global
Activities of BREC are divided into five main verticals:
1. National Life Science Entrepreneurship Awareness
2. BIRAC C-CAMP National Life Science Entrepreneurship
Challenge Programme
3. Entrepreneurship Development Boot Camp
4. Meet the Investors Series Programme – Dragon’s Den
5. Entrepreneurship Development Workshops
Incubation: The Bio-incubator at C-CAMP is funded
by BIRAC under the Bio-Incubator Support Scheme
(BISS). C-CAMP supports innovative start-up companies
and scientific entrepreneurs in all sectors of life sciences
through bio-incubation. C-CAMP incubatees are currently
working in the fields of drug discovery, molecular biology,
transgenic model systems, biomaterials, synthetic biology,
upstream and downstream processing, agricultural sciences,
nutraceuticals etc.


Venture Centre, Pune country. Under the BRBC, the Venture Centre shall be making
available to startups an actively curated mentoring network,
Venture Centre is India’s largest inventive enterprises and base camps on specific themes of relevance to startups, a
scientific business incubator. Since January 2012, Venture regulatory information and facilitation service (RIFC) and a
Centre is host to a BIRAC-supported BioIncubator that bioincubation practice school for other incubator managers.
supports start-ups working in the areas of biotechnology The Bioincubator at Venture Centre specialises in the creation
(biopharma, agrobiotech, industrial biotech, clean and development of life science businesses, and supports
technology), biomedical engineering/ devices/ diagnostics, the start-ups in many ways:
biomass value addition/ renewable fuels/ chemicals/
materials, bioinformatics, bio/medical services and related ● The infrastructural resources include dedicated and
disciplines. With the launch of Phase 2 of the BioIncubator shared office spaces and expandable spaces and/or labs
in May 2017, Venture Centre has a dedicated bioincubation (wet or dry). Incubatees also have access to both general lab
space of over 10,000 sq ft. The Bioincubator is currently equipment and high-end analytical and microscopy facilities.
home to more than 40 resident bioincubatees, making it Startups at the BioIncubator also benefit from the many
India’s largest bioincubator in terms of resident incubatees. prototyping equipment housed in the Tinkering Lab or DST-
Supported Prayashala.
Key Features: Venture Centre’s BioIncubator has
played a crucial role in supporting biotech entrepreneurs ● A dedicated team offers mentoring support to start-
by providing lab space, centralized high end instrument ups on various topics: business model, value propositions,
facilities, and a rich bioinnovation ecosystem that offers intellectual property, company structure, fund raising,
mentoring support, intellectual property services, technology sourcing, etc. The BioIncubator also organizes
networking opportunities, and much more. The latest mentoring clinics periodically wherein incubatees have the
addition to the bioinnovation ecosystem is the BIRAC chance for a one-on-one interaction with leading mentors in
Regional Bioinnovation Centre (BRBC). This joint initiative the country.
between Venture Center and BIRAC has been set up with
the objective of strengthening and creating networks, ● The Intellectual Property facilitation centre provides
services, information and resources to support and promote the lifescience entrepreneurs and start-ups with selected IP
life sciences and medical technology start-ups across the related services.

IIT M Bioincubator, Chennai
BIRAC has established several new, world-class bio
– incubators around the country, including one at IIT though the Centre for Industrial Consultancy and
Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) – Madras. With the Sponsored Research (IC&SR), it has its own governing
objective of fostering Indian biotech innovation and council / advisory committee, whose members include
entrepreneurship, it aims to help startups develop globally faculty of IIT Madras, industry experts and heads of other
competitive products and attain commercialization. It Bio-incubators.
is housed in IIT Madras Research Park (IITMRP) and falls
under the purview of IIT Madras Incubation Cell (IITMMIC). Key Features: The Bioincubator was inaugurated in
Although it is currently administered as a Project within December 2014 at IITM Research Park and commenced
operations in March 2015 with 4 incubates. IIT Madras
Research Park is modelled along the lines of successful
research parks at Stanford and MIT. The Bioincubator
promotes the collaboration between the incubated
companies, Corporate R &D, the faculty and students of
IIT Madras. The Early Translation Accelerator- Industrial
Biotechnology (ETA-IB) is a BIRAC supported programme for
enhanced industry- academia interactions. The aim of ETA
is to add translational component to an already established
proof-of-concept and to attract industry to take these
validated technologies further in terms of development.
This will be in collaboration with academic investigators,
industry and international translation ecosystems. The core
ETA-IB activities is to implement ETA-IB objectives through
identification and administration of the projects which will
be scouted from the research labs.


“BBC incubatees to launch
10 products at BTS- 2018”

« With Andhra Pradesh focusing extensively on

Dr Jitendra Kumar, Medical Device manufacturing through AMTZ,
Managing Director,
Bangalore what are your views on developing a similar set
Centre (BBC) up in Bengaluru?
While AMTZ initiative is great, every state and region
Dr Jitendra Kumar, Managing Director, need not follow same model of development. Bangalore
Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre (BBC) who was already has some strengths and these strengths need
instrumental in setting up an Incubation Centre to be leveraged. I think, in case of Bangalore, cluster
and Common equipment facility, was able to attract approach to growth will be better. The Med Tech device
29 potentially high impact start-ups in the Centre with and diagnostics could be part of this overarching cluster.
a short time. Recently he attended BIO 2018 in the At least two distinct Life Sciences clusters are already
US. In an interaction with Dr Manbeena Chawla of visible in Bangalore- the Northern Cluster comprising of
BioSpectrum he shared his views of his visit to the US NCBS-InSTEM-C-CAMP, with GKVK, IISc, JNCSR etc.
and his plans for BBC. Edited Excerpts- in proximity and Sothern Bangalore Cluster comprising
of IBAB-CHG-BBC with Biocon, Novozymes, Syngene
and many other Bio-Industries adjoining it. The cross
talk between the two clusters are already taking place.
I think, the cluster approach to growth of Biotech is
important, as the interaction between all stakeholders
within the cluster would increase efficiency.

Recently you attended BIO 2018 in the US. Based Please share your plans regarding the Karnataka

on this experience, what new ideas and plans do Startup Advancement Programme, in association

you intend to implement at BBC? with Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms?
Participation in BIO 2018 has been a rich experience. Karnataka Startup Advancement Programme (KSAP)-
There were large number of queries in relation to 50 is a mentorship programme envisioned by KITS,
Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre (BBC) and various Department of IT- BT and S&T, Government of
initiatives that Department of IT- BT and S&T, Karnataka. BBC is a nodal Centre for running this
Government of Karnataka is taking to create and programme with the help of implantation partner
Innovation ecosystem in the state. I have been C-CAMP. The idea is to select and mentor 50 startups
approached by Harvard University to initiate some within three years through a structured mentorship
collaborative works. So, basically participation in BIO programme. While there is no dearth of infrastructure
2018 has given good number of leads for collaborative (plug and play laboratories and equipment), branding,
work. Collaborations with top leaders in the field will networking and branding support but mentorship
bring best practices to the nascent and upcoming support is something that needs to be strengthened.
centres like BBC. The Collaborations would either be Keeping this in mind KSAP Bio 50 has been conceived.
through establishing centres of excellence in niche areas The programme is on its way for implementation.
or cluster to cluster collaboration to create a platform
for startups to explore mutual market access etc. Are there any new products and technologies

What is the status regarding the setting up of the developed by the startups at BBC this year?

Med Tech Accelerator at BBC? Please share the details.
There are more than 10 start ups in the area of Med There are at least 10 products that have been developed
Tech, already operating from BBC. The state-of-art by startups at BBC that are ready for launch. The same is
Med Tech centre is in the process of being set up. The planned to be launched during Bangalore Tech Summit
Government of Karnataka has given grants for creating 2018. These products and technologies are mostly in
additional space to accommodate the large number of the area of healthcare and is expected to create a huge
startups that are waiting to get Incubation support at social impact. There patents some 40 patents that are
BBC. The construction work has already started and is at various stages of filing/grant. So in all, I think within
likely to get completed by the next year. short time BBC has been successfully steering towards
its objectives.


‘‘Molecular diagnostics will
become a protocol in next 5 years’’

« antibiotic resistance pattern.

Arunima Patel, In your opinion, what are the differences in
giving a diagnosis via a traditional method or via
Founder & Managing molecular diagnostic method?
Molecular methods have a lot of advantages. In western
Director, iGenetic world, 40 per cent of the tests are molecular-based while
in India, only 10 per cent are molecular-based. There
Diagnostics is a need to increase awareness about the advantages
of molecular diagnostic methods. We are doing that
iGenetics, a Mumbai based Health-tech startup through various initiatives.
which was established in December 2013 and was
launched commercially in 2015, has expanded into How much investment have you made in
the critical care, oncology and infertility segment with instruments for the detection of cases like these?
tests for diseases like Down’s Syndrome, thalassaemia, Investment is quite significant. Instrument is only one
sickle-cell anaemia and certain cancers over the last part of it but the investment is also significant in the
year. It also has a test that can detect dengue in first R&D part of it. There is also a high amount of investment
24 hours and has also earned the stature of being the required in man power as these are very specialized
only diagnostics company in India that can deliver a tests.
septicemia test report within 24 hours. Last year, it
secured $19.5 million in its latest round of funding In your opinion, is raising funds still a big issue?
from CDC Group Plc and the Manipal Education and In our cases, funding was not a big issue as we were
Medical Group (MEMG). The company has signed over into molecular diagnostics. There were a lot of players
100 memoranda of understanding with leading hospital who wanted to invest in healthcare delivery, specially
chains like Apollo, Rainbow, KIMS, Jupiter & SL in specialized diagnostics field. So, funding was not a
Raheja. BioSpectrum spoke to Arunima Patel, Founder challenge. It is now that some resistance has come in the
& Managing Director, iGenetic Diagnostics, who has market. People are now saying that let’s drive towards
been instrumental in attracting investment from these profitability, scalability. Earlier, there was tremendous
marquee investors. Edited Excerpts- amount of interest for funding in molecular diagnostics.

What does iGenetic specializes in? What specialized services do you provide to the
We do tests right from routine biochemistry tests to hospitals that you have signed MoUs?
advanced molecular diagnostics and genetic tests. In the country, there are very few players who are doing
Where we specialize is critical care infection space for these kinds of tests. These are our own developed tests.
e.g. detection of septicemia, CNS infections, community- All hospitals dealing with critical care require the tests
acquired pneumonia, transplant related infections such that we offer. In India, people first go to a nursing care
as neutropenia, we look at those cases. The advantage set up and try to settle the illness by taking antibiotics.
that we offer is that our diagnosis is very quick. While By the time people come to tertiary hospital, they have
microbiology takes anywhere between 42 hours to a already undergone various treatments, so they have to
few weeks, we can provide a diagnosis in 24 hours turn rely on molecular diagnostic methods in order to get a
around time. Results are far superior compared to the proper diagnosis of critical care infection as the culture
traditional methods as we use advanced molecular positivity ratio is very less.
diagnostics techniques. By using traditional methods, in
majority (upto 80 per cent) of the ICU cases it is difficult What kind of diseases do you provide diagnosis
to diagnose septicemia, a blood stream infection. Using for?
advanced molecular diagnostics methods iGenetic We provide diagnosis for septicemia, neutropenia,
can provide diagnosis in these cases as well as provide CNS infections like meningitis, encephalitis etc. We
also provide detection for antibiotic resistance. We
also provide diagnosis for respiratory disorders and


for viruses like H1N1, Nipah. We also offer diagnosis What are the driving factors of the growth of the
for infections arising from total knee replacement like company?
osteomyelitis, infections arising from heart-related Innovation continues to be the driving factor. We will
surgeries. remain as someone who is into innovating the product.

What is the current scenario of molecular You have presence in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi,
diagnostics in India? Nagpur, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru. Are there any
In India, it is still at a very nascent stage. It will become plans of expansion?
a protocol in the next five years but it is not popular now. Geographically, we have very less presence. We have
Affordability is a big issue. Our tests are ranged from Rs plans of expanding in India this year. Next year, we
8,000 - 15,000 even at Rs 25,000. Even at that price, plan to cover the international market as well. Whatever
people are finding it difficult to afford it. problems we are facing, we find similar problems in
other Asian countries such as Sri Lanka, Malaysia. We
What steps should be taken to make it more find these problems in Middle East as well. So, we will
affordable? be targeting those countries.
If India were to get the solutions, there are machines
which are designed in the western market. If we are able Are there any plans of mergers or acquisition in
to make it here, the price will be much less compared India?
to the rate we are getting presently. At iGenetic we No not yet. Organic is what we are trying to grow.
do our own scientific developments, we try to make it
affordable. We do not offer fifty pathogen tests to every Are there any new products in the pipeline? How
patient. We customize tests for each condition and much time does a product take to come to the
region. We reduce the size of the panel in order to make market?
it more affordable. Since launch, we have reduced our We are developing non-invasive clinical screening for
prices. Now, we can offer diagnosis at Rs 6,000 - 8,000 Down’s syndrome. Our first product took a very long
also. If a patient goes for full fifty pathogen tests, it will time because of the validations that were to be done etc.
cost around Rs 25,000. If we are entering a new segment, it takes almost a year
or more to launch it. Any gradual enhancement after
What are the challenges that you face and how that takes almost 2 months or so.
you overcome them?
The biggest challenge that we face is less awareness even For what tests have you filed patent for and what
at both doctor’s and patient’s level. Second challenge difficulties have you faced?
that we face is that as India does not have any regulation, We have filed patents for almost all our tests. The
anybody can develop a home grown test and launch process is very lengthy and cumbersome. If it could be
without validations. There is no recognition of the shortened, it would be great.
quality that is being offered. So, people look at us with
the same spectra and question our quality. If there was Prapti Shah
any regulation or any check, at least we could explain [email protected]
to our customers about the quality that we offer. Today,
very less accreditation is available. How we overcome
is, we go for international accreditation like College of
American Pathology proficiency testing. However, the
process is very time consuming and expensive.

In your opinion, what steps should government
take in this sector?
Government has to have a body which regulates the
industry. Today, to open a new lab, one needs a Shops
and establishment license. Anybody can take that
license. There is no check available. Government has to
have an authority that puts a check on the launch of lab
tests. Regulations are there before the launch of devices,
diagnostic kits and drugs. The scope of the same should
be expanded to include own developed diagnostic tests
as well.


“AI-assisted data mining to save
lives by reducing effort and time”

« healthcare is able to do. Currently, the plan is to use the
capital to enhance the efficacy of the existing diabetes
Abhishek Shah, digital therapeutic while developing solutions for
other disease areas for which clinical trials are set to
Co-founder and begin in the second half of 2018. Nearly 1 in 3 patients
who have diabetes also have hypertension and heart
CEO of Wellthy complications. We almost don’t have a choice in the
matter; we must care for this huge segment of the
Therapeutics population. However, we will continue to build our
therapeutic capabilities slowly and surely, with proven
2017 has been a comeback year for health tech outcomes and validated protocols of care established
startups with investor sentiment picking up before we commercialise.
to touch $162 million as compared to a paltry
$84 million in 2016. In totality, healthtech startups What potential do you foresee in revolutionizing
have raised over $912 million across 269 deals since
2014. According to a recent report by Deloitte, Indian healthcare technologies with artificial
healthcare market, which is worth $100 billion, is
likely to grow at a pace of 23 per cent CAGR to reach intelligence (AI)?
the mark of $280 billion by 2020. From the positive AI is already augmenting medical imaging and
developments with which the healthtech industry diagnostics, by helping diagnose a patient better,
has started this year, 2018 will likely see many more correlating it with their medical history and delivering
healthtech startups flourishing. the best treatment option in certain areas of healthcare
like oncology. This will not only cut down the access to
Recently, Digital therapeutics firm Wellthy treatment time for the patient and offer personalised
Therapeutics has raised $2.1 million from Ranjan Pai’s treatment but also help doctors make better decisions,
family office Manipal Education & Medical Group and free up considerable, and precious, time of the
(MEMG) family office LLP along with Apoorva Patni doctor to attend to more critical patients.
led Currae Healthtech Fund, Singapore-based Beenext
Ventures, GrowX Ventures, IIFL Select Equity Fund
amongst other individual investors. The Mumbai-
based firm that plays into digital therapeutics, enables
treatment of type-II diabetes using a hybrid of AI
and human paramedical coaches to improve health
literacy and facilitate behaviour change for better
outcomes in patients. It’s first digital therapeutic for
type II diabetes has been endorsed by Asia’s largest
diabetes association, Research Society for the Study of
Diabetes in India (RSSDI). BioSpectrum got in touch
with Abhishek Shah, Co-founder and CEO of Wellthy
Therapeutics, to find out about the plans the company
has in store. Edited Excerpts-

Congratulations on the recent investment boost.

What are the future plans?
Digital health interventions are a necessity to enhance
the effectiveness of current chronic disease care. Our
product suite directly boosts outcome efficacy in
incredibly significant ways, well beyond what current


AI-assisted data mining of patient data is already a world very soon where the human is augmented by
happening to understand trends and identify most AI in decision making, communication, and in mining
successful treatment options. Apart from enormous healthcare data. I foresee a lot of background work
time saving, this data mining will save lives by being taken over by the AI. I see robots, controlled and
reducing the effort and time for researching diseases programmed by HCPs, to be able to lead some types of
and their treatments. surgeries. That being said, there are other places where
we are far away from a machine-dominated healthcare
Then there’s AI that can give you immediate future, e.g. it will take time for AI or robots to be able
feedback and action points. The benefits of this are to make ethical choices. Moreover, the human touch is
being seen in emergency care, in hospital patient irreplaceable in a lot of cases.
monitoring, and in lifestyle disease management by
giving real time feedback on patient data points like How is your association with RSSDI going to
blood sugar or meals, thereby educating the user in make a difference to diabetes care in India?
real time and ensuring immediate, real time patient What are the main efforts being taken in this
care, further augmenting the Health Care Professional regard?
(HCP).The Wellthy Diabetes App is one such deployed With the support of RSSDI, we are taking on the
digital therapeutic; it has an AI-powered chatbot responsibility of building awareness and improving
and real-time feedback engine that gives immediate adoption of digital therapeutics, a new category of
guidance to users upon receiving data inputs from medicine in India and South Asia: something we are
them such as that of their meals, blood sugar or committed to for the next decade. Our association
weight, as well as real time decision support to help will see incredible publications, studies and real
the treating HCP and the paramedical staff make world data coming out of it, which will help define
better decisions. the standards of care for diabetes in the years to
come. Our randomized control trial is one more
Although majority of consumers are willing step to not just build credibility for the category,
to receive care from advanced healthcare but a step to make India shine as a global leader in
technologies such AI & robotics, do you think diabetes care.
lack of human element can pose as a major
challenge? Do you think consumer centric devices will take
I don’t foresee a future over the next 10-20 years control of the healthcare market in the coming
where humans are completely removed from all major years?
aspects of patient-facing healthcare. However, I do see Consumer centric devices like smartphones are
already paving the way for access to most services the
THEN THERE’S AI THAT customer wants. Healthcare will be one more category
to enjoy the privileges and challenges of being ‘on
CAN GIVE YOU IMMEDIATE demand’. However, I don’t see the smartphone ‘taking
control’ of the healthcare market anytime soon.
FEEDBACK AND ACTION POINTS. Healthcare isn’t about discounts and access, it’s about
outcomes and care.
With the advancing healthcare technologies
BEING SEEN IN EMERGENCY comes the problem of affordability. How do
you plan to ensure that your services reach the
CARE, IN HOSPITAL PATIENT maximum number of people?
Born in India, we are committed to help every
MONITORING, AND IN LIFESTYLE part of the pyramid. We are inspired by Tesla in
their approach to build cheaper products for their
DISEASE MANAGEMENT BY customers by using data and learnings from the
early adopters to bring the cost of the intervention
GIVING REAL TIME FEEDBACK down, without compromising quality. Our AI
capabilities, our machine learning architecture, and
ON PATIENT DATA POINTS our clinical and behavioral science product team help
tremendously in this regard.
Dr Manbeena Chawla
THEREBY EDUCATING THE [email protected]







“We have a huge demand supply gap
of almost all resources in healthcare”

« social platforms such as WhatsApp to get opinions
from their peers, but such opinions may not be the
Shireesh Sahai, most accurate.

CEO – India-South UpToDate is a Clinical Decision Support tool
-- available in desktop and mobile versions-- which
Asia, Wolters Kluwer provides evidence based clinical information to
doctors which support them in treating patients. It
According to a recent study conducted by the is an evidence-based, physician-authored clinical
Harvard School of Public Health, as many decision support system to help clinicians make
as 5.2 million medical errors and adverse the right point-of-care decisions. This app can
drug reactions have been noted in India. With the help doctors and clinicians find out answers to any
increasing patient load in both government and question they might have.
private hospitals it is becoming very important to
keep pace with the demands of clinically examining How do you foresee the growth of digital health
patients and also ensuring that the diagnosis is
correct. Considering the need to support physicians market in India?
to take appropriate decisions and to enhance patient The adoption of information technology in healthcare
care in India, Wolters Kluwer, the Netherlands- is increasing rapidly. More and more hospitals are
based company announced the launch of UpToDate adopting hospital information systems and clinical
Advanced recently in India. BioSpectrum spoke decision support systems such as UpToDate in India.
to Shireesh Sahai, CEO – India-South Asia, Digital connectivity enables accessibility on the
Wolters Kluwer to get more information about this move, improves quality and efficiency of healthcare.
application. Edited Excerpts- In a country where people with chronic diseases do
not go for treatment to save on readmission costs,
How can Clinical Decision Support ensure digital health could help in a large way. And also, the
better healthcare delivery? players in digital health strive to provide high quality
Clinical Decision Support systems use advanced information. Such factors serve as major growth
algorithms to provide doctors with the information drivers for the digital health market in India.
they need to make the right decisions at the point of
care delivery. This obviously reduces medical errors India has been reported to be the 2nd largest
and lowers healthcare cost. Practicing physicians user of digital technology in the world. People are
need to seek answers for clinical questions during turning to mobile devices for almost everything.
patient care but are often pressed for time. Many use Such a situation serves as the ideal condition for
the healthcare industry to venture into for a long
time. With the hassle-free, low-cost and high-quality
performance, digital health is surely the next big
thing to happen to Indian healthcare industry.

What is the hold of Wolters Kluwer in India

currently? What are your plans ahead?
Wolters Kluwer India is a 100 per cent subsidiary of
Wolters Kluwer N.V., and it has been 10 years since
we have direct presence in India and I am glad that
we could provide enough information to the experts.
Most of the healthcare institutions are subscribing to
our various resources ranging from reference books
to journals to softwares and services.

More than one million clinicians across 174
countries refer to our app when it comes to evidence-
based medical knowledge. With the increasing digital
penetration in India, UpToDate has a fast growing

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customer base which includes around 10,000 digital health that it can reduce medical errors
specialists across India. and cost of care. However, healthcare reforms,
especially when it involves setting up of the digital
We have a huge demand supply gap of almost infrastructure like health information exchanges,
all the resources in healthcare, be it hospital beds, typically take time. So it is important for India to
doctors or nurses. All this can only be improved by identify the interventions which are easy to do and
opening up new institutions and expanding current also provide positive outcomes.
infrastructure and retaining these qualified resources
within country. At the same time we need to enhance What is the current digital health care trend in
clinical skill at all levels and continuing education the South Asian countries like Bangladesh and
should be a must for all healthcare professionals Sri Lanka?
throughout their practice. This will help in delivering In Sri Lanka and in Bangladesh population based
standardized health outcomes. district health information systems ( DHIS 2)
is being implemented, this allows the decision
What are your views in the light of the makers to have real-time disease burden and
management information that enables informed
announcement of the Bharat Ayushman decision and programme management. Also in both
these countries a number of mhealth initiatives in
Programme? maternal, child health, immunization and nutrition
Well yes, the Bharat Ayushman Programme is surely monitoring are being undertaken. Sri Lanka also runs
a big thing. It necessitates investment in healthcare a number of disease registries that allows clinicians to
delivery infrastructure and medical education track outcomes over a period of time.
because these are very important for insurance
outlays to be used optimally. Hence, India must now What opportunities do you foresee in the
consider the use of adaptive learning and mobile- healthcare and clinical diagnosis market in Asia
based learning technologies in medical education in the coming years?
which will help medical professionals stay completely The high burden of both non communicable diseases
updated and relevant. Countries that score high on and infectious diseases will need comprehensive
healthcare metrics inevitably invest in technology point of care diagnostics and embedded clinical
that helps healthcare specialists make evidence based decision systems.
clinical decisions and thereby render more effective
services. Dr. Manbeena Chawla
[email protected]
The Union government has realized this need
and is working towards healthcare reforms. The
government has comprehended the potential of


India, South Korea sign
5 MoUs in Science & Technology

The Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences the R&D sector and said that both the countries could
and Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan bring synergy between Korea’s strong manufacturing
and the South Korean Minister for Science & ICT, You Young- base and India’s pre-eminence in basic sciences and
Min signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Science software sector.
& Technology, in New Delhi on July 09, 2018. The Secretary,
Department of Science and Technology, Prof. Ashutosh The two Ministers reviewed bilateral S&T
Sharma and the DG, CSIR, Dr. Girish Sahni are also seen. cooperation between the two countries since the
last meeting of the Steering Committee at Seoul
India and South Korea on July 9 signed five in November 2015. Both Ministers agreed to
Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) in the establish Indo-Korean Center for Research and
field of Science & Technology. Union Minister Innovation (IKCRI) in India, which will act as the
for Science & Technology, Dr Harsh Vardhan and his hub for systematic operation and management of all
South Korean counterpart, You Young Min signed cooperative programmes in research and innovation
three MoUs for (i) Programme of Cooperation 2018- between the two countries including innovation &
21; (ii) Establishment of Future Strategy Group; (iii) entrepreneurship and technology transfer.
Cooperation in Biotechnology & Bioeconomy. The
MoU on Establishment of Future Strategy Group was The Ministers also agreed to establish a Future
signed by Indian Science & Technology and Commerce Strategic Group, which will build a collaborative
Ministers, while on the Korean side, it was signed by platform that can utilize the potential of both the
Science and ICT and Trade Ministers. countries towards fostering innovation and create
impact which is of social and economic good. To
Two other MoUs were signed between Council of begin with, both sides will be co-funding collaborative
Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), and South enterprise-led joint R&D projects covering (i) Digital
Korean National Research Council for Science & Transformation (ii) Future Manufacturing (iii) Future
Technology and IIT Mumbai and Korea Institute of Utilities and (iv) Health Care.
Science &Technology, to further accelerate future-
oriented cooperation in their respective sectors. It was also agreed to jointly establish two
The MoUs were signed at the conclusion of the 4th additional India-Korea Joint Network Centres in
India-Korea Science & Technology Ministers Steering areas among ‘Cyber Physical System- Artificial
Committee Meeting. Intelligence, Internet of Things focused on
agriculture, energy, water and transportation
In his opening remarks, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, and ‘Semiconductor Electronics’. These centres
“India can lead the newly industrialising countries will leverage existing infrastructure and funding
in developing and adopting affordable technologies available from the partners on both sides in focused
and processes, and demonstrate a growth path and applied research areas, which have potential towards
low energy consumption pattern that would be more technology development.
sustainable than that of the industrial countries.”
In the area of biotechnology, New Delhi and
On his part, You Young Min appreciated India’s Seoul have agreed to extend cooperation in health
self-reliance in science and technology, especially in and medicine, agro-fishery products developed
with the adoption of biotechnology; environment-
related challenges and developing environmental
and energy sectors through bio-technology, big data
biotechnology; bio-research resources; synthetic
biology, genome editing and microbiomes, etc.

Both countries renewed the Programme of
Cooperation in the field of Science and Technology
for 2018-21 to augment the cooperation in Science,
Technology and Innovation.

You Young Min is part of the official delegation
accompanying South Korean President Moon Jae-
in, who arrived in New Delhi on July 8 on a three-
day visit.

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Transasia Bio-Medicals receives ICMED 13485 certification

Transasia Bio-Medicals assurance system for India providing the product credentials
Ltd., India’s leading In-vitro manufactured medical devices. to manufacturers and is intended
Diagnostic Company, has been It is an initiative of Association to significantly eliminate trading
recently certified by ICMED of sub-standard products or
13485 - Indian Certification of Indian Medical Device devices.
for Medical Devices (ICMED) Industry (AIMED) in
Certification Scheme. This collaboration with the Transasia received the
is in addition to the latest Quality Council of India ICMED 13485 certification for
ISO 9001:2015 certification. (QCI) and the National its manufacturing facilities at
The company has been Accreditation Board Mumbai, Daman and Baddi.
audited and registered for Certification All the three facilities were
by UL India Private Bodies (NABCB). successfully audited for quality
Limited. ICMED is compliance for the design,
aimed at development, manufacture,
ICMED is enhancing installation and service of IVD
the country’s patient analyzers and reagents used in
first indigenous quality safety, by diagnosis.

AMTZ receives SMT announces start of
S-Flex Registry in Netherlands
SMT (Sahajanand Medical Technologies Pvt. Ltd.), India’s
Organization Award largest manufacturer of cardiovascular medical stents, recently
announced the start of its S-flex Netherlands Registry. The
The American College of Clinical Netherlands registry is the second in series post the successful
Engineering (ACCE) in collaboration completion of the UK registry early this year. Proudly moving
with the Healthcare Technology ahead in the global
Foundation (HTF) has conferred the market, SMT
“International Organization Award” plans to enroll
to India’s first medical device park 1000 patients
Andhra Pradesh Med Tech Zone across 8 centres
(AMTZ) during the 28th ACCE in Netherlands
annual meeting held in California. with an aim to
AP Med Tech Zone is credited to be evaluate the
the first Indian organization to have safety & efficacy of
been nominated ever for this award Supraflex (DES)
and it created history by winning the in real world all
2018- ACCE international award. The comer patient
award was received by Dr Jitendra population requiring coronary intervention.
Sharma, MD and CEO, AMTZ. ACCE
– HTF International Organization Dr A.J.J Ijsselmuiden, principal investigator from Amphia
Award is given to an organization hospital, Breda, Netherlands will be at the helm of the study.
outside the United States and The enrolment process has already received a positive response
Canada that has demonstrated with the admission of its 1st patient on 27th February 2018 at
significant improvements in Amphia hospital, Breda. Currently, four out of the eight centres
Clinical Engineering. This award have already started the enrolment process.
is sponsored by the Healthcare
Technology Foundation on behalf The stent has also shown superior clinical result in
of ACCE. The initiative of AMTZ is various sub categories of patients. SMT is confident that
applauded by the industry in India the Netherlands S-Flex study will produce positive and
and medical technology experts all excellent clinical outcomes that physicians expect from a next
over the world. generation DES. This study has further amplified the company’s
commitment to work towards the welfare of patients around the
world through scientific clinical data.


Lighthouse Samsung develops
leads $21M ultraclear ultrasound
investment in
Tynor Orthotics Samsung Electronics has congenital diseases.
developed an ultrasound image The ultrasound device,
Mid-market private equity processing engine with its
firm Lighthouse Funds has medical instrument subsidiary, WS80A, will use the CrystalLive
led a $21 million investment Samsung Medison that can be engine and was recently released
in Tynor Orthotics Pvt. Ltd, utilized to deliver more accurate in Korea, Europe and the United
which makes artificial support diagnoses of fetuses. States. The company expects
devices for various body parts. to enter other markets as well,
France-based manufacturer According to Samsung, the depending on approval from
and distributor of medical new solution, CrystalLive, uses local authorities.
devices Thuasne participations, the latest image processing
which had invested in Tynor in technologies to deliver three- The company plans to
2010, also put in money in this dimensional pictures of various improve the accuracy and
round. According to Tynor, the organs in fetuses. Mothers will efficiency of diagnoses through
fund raise was in line with the be able to receive vivid images the CrystalLive engine, and
company’s ‘3.0’ vision to move of their babies and doctors to speed up the company’s
to the next level of growth. can improve the accuracy of penetration into university-run
Founded in 1993, Tynor sells diagnoses by detecting potential hospitals, which call for high
more than 140 products such levels of diagnosis.
as body braces, supports, and
fracture and walking aids. It has Thermo Fisher to acquire
a distribution network in India Gatan from Roper Technologies
and also exports to more than
40 countries. The company Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the world leader in serving science, and
reported total income of Rs 132
crore in the financial year 2016- Roper Technologies, Inc., a leading diversified technology company,
17 compared to Rs 111.9 crore in
the previous fiscal. have announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement

under which Thermo Fisher will acquire Gatan, Inc., a wholly owned

subsidiary of Roper, for approximately $925 million in cash. Gatan

is a leading manufacturer of instrumentation and software used

to enhance and extend the operation and performance of electron

microscopes. Gatan’s technologies are used in materials science,

electronics and life sciences to enable electron microscopy workflows

– from specimen preparation and manipulation to imaging and

analysis. These

solutions, which are

platform agnostic,

include filter

systems, cameras and

proprietary software.

With approximately

320 employees

globally, Gatan is

headquartered in

Pleasanton, Calif., and

has key manufacturing

operations in

Warrendale, Penn.

The business is expected to generate approximately $150 million

in revenue for full year 2018. The transaction, which is expected to

be completed by the end of 2018, is subject to customary closing

conditions, including regulatory approvals.


Roche MIT Board elects
Kiran-Mazumdar Shaw
appoints as full-term member

James Biocon Ltd, Asia’s premier biopharmaceutical company,
has announced that its Chairperson and Managing
Sabry as Director, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, has been elected as
full-term member of the MIT Corporation, the board of
global trustees of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. She is among
partnering the eight full-term members who will each serve a
term of five years starting July 1, 2018. She holds key
head positions in various educational, government, and
industry positions, including:
Swiss drug major Roche Group has appointed James member of high-level expert
Sabry as Global Head of Partnering, a role that committees of India’s
combines the partnering functions across the Roche Department of Biotechnology
pharmaceuticals business, and as a member of the (DBT) and governing councils
enlarged Corporate Executive Committee. He will be of institutes of the DBT; non-
based in Basel and assumes his new role on August 1. executive chairperson of the
Sabry currently is Head of Partnering for Genentech Association of Biotechnology
Research and Early Development or gRED. Sabry Led Enterprises (ABLE), a
succeeds Sophie KornowskiBonnet, Head of Roche non-profit pan-India forum
Partnering and member of the enlarged Corporate representing the Indian
Executive Committee since 2012, as she leaves the biotechnology sector; and
company on July 31 for a new opportunity. Prior member of the governing body
to joining Genentech in his current role in 2010, of the Indian Pharmacopoeia
Sabry was CEO of a start-up biotech company Commission. She is on the board
and was founder and CEO of Cytokinetics, a of directors of the US-India Business Council (USIBC)
biopharmaceutical company in the San Francisco and the board of trustees of the Keck Graduate Institute
Bay Area. He completed his MD at Queen’s University in Claremont, California, U.S. She has previously
in Canada and then did his medical residency in served as a member of the board of trustees of the US
Neurology at Harvard Medical School before further Pharmacopeial Convention (USP). She was elected
attaining a PhD in Neuroscience from University of a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of
California, San Francisco. He continued his research Engineering Sciences in 2006.
work as a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford Medical
School in the Department of Biochemistry.

ADA honours Dr V. Mohan with Harold Rifkin Award

Dr. V. Mohan, Chairman and Chief the highest scientific achievement
of Diabetology at Dr. Mohan’s awards of American Diabetes
Diabetes Specialities Centre and Association given annually to
President & Chief of Diabetes an individual whose efforts have
Research of the Madras Diabetes increased the awareness of the
Research Foundation has been burden of diabetes worldwide to
conferred the prestigious Harold improve the care and lives of those
Rifkin Distinguished International with diabetes. The award was
Service in the Cause of Diabetes conferred on Dr. Mohan during
Award by the American Diabetes the 78th Scientific Sessions of the
Association (ADA). American Diabetes Association
at Orlando during the National
Dr. Mohan is the first Indian Scientific Achievement Awards
doctor to be conferred with this Presentation Ceremony held
award by the American Diabetes recently at WB4 Convention Center.
Association (ADA). It is one of


Cigna TTK Health appoints Amazon-led
Prasun Sikdar as MD, CEO
joint healthcare
Cigna’s India business, Cigna TTK Health Insurance, a joint venture
between U.S.-based global health services company, Cigna Corporation firm names
and Indian conglomerate TTK Group, recently announced the
appointment of Prasun Sikdar as its new MD and Chief Executive Officer Atul Gawande
(CEO) following regulatory approval from the Insurance Regulatory and
Development Authority of India (IRDAI). He succeeds Sandeep Patel, as CEO
former MD and Chief Executive Officer, who will take over as Chief
Eminent Indian-American
Strategy and JV Officer for Cigna and will serve as Director surgeon, writer and public
on the Cigna TTK Health Insurance Board. health innovator Atul
Prasun will be responsible for building upon the Gawande has been named
company’s already strong position in India. He will as the Chief Executive
continue to focus on delivering innovative products and Officer (CEO) of a new
services to the company’s growing customer base. With his US employee health care
deep experience in partnerships, he will also be working company, a joint venture
between Amazon, Berkshire
with the leadership team to further expand the company’s Hathaway and JPMorgan
distribution channels, while enhancing the brand and Chase. Gawande, 52, will
creating long-term value for the organization and take over as the CEO of
its customers. Prasun brings more than 22 years the company from July 9.
of leadership experience in financial services and The new company will be
deep insurance knowledge to Cigna TTK. Before headquartered in Boston
joining Cigna TTK, Prasun was Group President and will operate as an
and Global Head at Yes Bank, where he managed independent entity that is
and grew key bancassurance and mutual fund free from profit-making
alliances and partnerships. incentives and constraints.
Gawande practices general
JCI appoints John Yoon and endocrine surgery at
as MD, Asia-Pacific Region Brigham and Women’s
Hospital and is Professor
Joint Commission International (JCI) announced John Yoon, MBA, at the Harvard TH Chan
as its managing director of the Asia-Pacific Region. In this role, he is School of Public Health and
responsible for developing relationships between JCI and health care Harvard Medical School. He
organizations, governments, medical societies and industry clients in is the founding executive
their efforts to reduce risk and improve health outcomes. director of the health
systems innovation centre,
Yoon joined JCI in January 2017. With more than 13 years of Ariadne Labs and is also is
experience in health care and finance, he brings a wealth of knowledge a staff writer for The New
in leading large-scale projects, as well as financial and operational Yorker magazine.
consulting for health care systems and cross-border

Prior to his role with JCI, Yoon was Philips
Healthcare’s regional director of Southeast Asia and
head of Philips Capital at the Asia-Pacific office in
Singapore. In these positions, he led large-scale
hospital projects, capital asset financing and turnkey
equipment solutions to governments and health care
organizations across Asia.

He also has managed a multi-specialty spine
surgery and rehabilitation hospital as the general
manager at Mubadala Development
Company in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates,
and served as head of international business
at Wooridul Spine Hospital in South Korea.


Tata Trust Foundation Researchers in
develops affordable MRI scanner
Delhi suggest new
Tata Trusts’ Foundation for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship
(FISE) has developed a high-tech portable Magnetic Resonance clue to Huntington
Imaging (MRI) scanner, designed to make MRI affordable and
accessible for everyone. The product was developed within a period A study by researchers at the Department
of two years by a group of engineers at Voxelgrids, which is incubated of Genetics, Delhi University, South
in the foundation. The 1.5 Tesla whole body MRI scanner can make Campus, has shown that it is possible to
MRI scans four times faster, compared to other scanners that are restrict the progression of Huntington’s
currently available in the market while consuming less power and disease by increasing insulin signaling
being light weight hence easy to carry. Bengaluru based Sri Sathya in the brain’s neuronal cells. The study
Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences is the clinical partner for found that increasing the level of insulin
the development, where the first system has been installed. signaling enriches the cellular pool of
proteins that are essential for cellular
functioning and survival. This in turn
restores the cellular transcription
machinery, which typically collapses
due to the disease, and thus stops the
disease from progressing. According
to the research team, the study has
immense potential application.
Subsequent investigations by including
higher organisms and anti-diabetic
drugs would provide a novel approach
to combat the devastating human
polyglutamine disorders.


AIIMS team discovers Type 4 diabetes

Scientists at the All India According to the research Diabetes Type 4 (Glaucoma) are
Institute of Medical Sciences team, Diabetes Type 3 restricted to brain and ocular
(AIIMS) have discovered (Alzheimer’s disease) and tissues specifically and are not
and described a new type of associated with high levels of
diabetes -Type 4 Diabetes, which blood glucose.
specifically affects the ocular
(eye) and brain tissues. There are striking similarities
in genetic, biochemical, and
The study, published in an molecular aspects which prove
international journal, talks about that Glaucoma is a form of brain-
the understanding of Glaucoma, specific diabetes. There might be
which is an eye disorder. The one billion people suffering from
scientists claim that discovery it across the world by 2030. It is
of Type 4 Diabetes will help sometimes even uncontrolled by
understand the disorder and medicines and requires multiple
diagnosis of Glaucoma. surgeries and lifelong therapies.

Kolkata researchers IISc scientists use
asthma drug for treating TB
design drug nanocarriers
A team of scientists at the Indian Institute of
A group of researchers from CSIR-Indian Science (IISc), Bengaluru has found out that a drug
Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata, has (Pranlukast) currently used for treating asthma is more
designed an efficient drug nanocarrier using effective against tuberculosis (TB). Studies carried
gold nanoparticles coated with a simple organic out in mice models found the drug to be effective in
molecule (porphyrin). The nanocarrier was treating TB both when used alone and in combination
found to effectively deliver the anti-tumour drug with an anti-TB drug rifampicin. According to the
doxorubicin anti-tumour drug to the nucleus of scientists, the drug uses a unique strategy to target
the diseased cell and bring about programmed the TB bacteria and is therefore quite unlikely to cause
cell death. The porphyrin molecule was found to any adverse side-effects either to the human cells or
be uniformly distributed on gold nanoparticles the beneficial bacteria found in humans. The team
and the porphyrin–gold complex was stable. The plans to test the drug on guinea pigs in a few months’
complex without the drug showed no toxicity to time. The efficacy will be tested by using it alone and
healthy and cancerous cells. Multidrug resistance in combination with rifampicin. If encouraging results
is one of the major barriers in cancer cells, where are obtained from guinea pig studies, the team intends
the drug is quickly ejected out, reducing the to straight away conduct Phase II trials in humans, as
effective drug concentrations within the cells and the safety of the drug is already proven.
thus decreases its sensitivity. The researchers are
currently studying the pathways by which drugs
can damage the DNA, and trying to design a
system that can release the drug more efficiently.


AIIMS inks MoU KIHT signs research
with Centre to agreement with JBI
develop BHU
medical college The Kalam Institute of space globally.
Health Technology (KIHT), a AP MedTech Zone
The All India Institutes of Department of Biotechnology
Medical Sciences (AIIMS) funded institute in the domain (AMTZ) will now host the
has signed a memorandum of medical technology policy, has JBI along with cluster of 250
of understanding (MoU) recently signed an agreement with manufacturing units for common
with the Centre to transform Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI), facilities such as electro-
Banaras Hindu University’s University of Adelaide, Australia. magnetic interference testing,
Institute of Medical Sciences biomaterials testing, gamma
(IMS) into a ‘world class’ KIHT would focus on medical irradiation, rapid prototyping
institute. The MoU has devices and diagnostic and centre, Indian Biomedical
been signed to upgrade associate with other JBI centres Skill Consortium, WHO pre-
the medical college. AIIMS in this domain of research. All qualified cell, Directorate of
will provide teleconference the studies done in this space Radiation and Medical Devices
services to the faculty would be submitted to JBI and Promotion Council. AMTZ,
members and mentor them, KIHT would like to involve in now under construction in an
and aid in developing super- supporting and leading JBI in area of 270 acres at Nadupuru
speciality services. The MoU medical devices and diagnostic in Pedagantyada mandal, is
was signed between the expected to roll out the first device
Union Human Resource manufactured in the zone under
Development Ministry, ‘Make in India’ initiative sometime
Union Ministry for Health in October. Common scientific
and Family Welfare and the facilities, biomaterial testing lab,
AIIMS. The health ministry 3D design, prototyping, rapid
will fund the project, which is tooling facility, gamma irradiation,
expected to benefit 20 crore X-ray/CT scan tube manufacturing
people from eastern Uttar and other facilities will come up at
Pradesh and neighboring the zone.
states. Improving health
care and establishment of Health Ministry, IGNOU to
an AIIMS in eastern Uttar promote healthcare courses
Pradesh was a key poll
promise by Narendra Modi The Health Ministry has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
in 2014. However, staff crisis with the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) to scale-up
has been plaguing several short-term healthcare courses and produce over 14 lakh trained manpower
hospitals in Varanasi. Sir by 2025. The signing ceremony of the MoU was presided over by Union
Sunderlal Hospital, affiliated Health Minister J P Nadda and Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar.
to IMS-BHU, the largest Union Minister for Skill
tertiary referral hospital Development Dharmendra
in eastern Uttar Pradesh Pradhan was also present.
that treats more than 15
lakh patients annually, The government
faces shortage of doctors, has initiated universal
technicians and nurses, while screening of common non-
the 324-bed Trauma Centre, communicable diseases such
which was inaugurated by as diabetes, hypertension
Prime Minister Narendra and common cancers along
Modi in 2015, too is facing a with tuberculosis and leprosy. This will require trained manpower and
similar problem. the Health Ministry is taking all necessary steps to address this. A robust
monitoring and assessment framework will be established under the MoU
to ensure that Health Ministry standards are followed stringently.


3rd Conference on Health Security for All

“Need regulatory framework

to regulate use of EMRs”
The Indian healthcare sector is growing at a
brisk pace due to its strengthening coverage, Dr. Rajendra Sharma, Medical Superintendent, VMMC &
services and increasing expenditure by public Safdarjang Hospital, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare,
as well private players. Public-Private Partnership Government of India addressing the gathering at 3rd
would improve equity, efficiency, accountability, Conference on Health Security for All in New Delhi on July 11.
quality and accessibility of the entire health system.
The limited health workforce available to deliver a difference between life and death.
the promised services under Ayushman Bharat “The next critical step is to ensure that the data
with its required outreach and effectiveness is
a major concern. With the objective to provide is uniformly captured, interpreted and accessed by
health security for all through health schemes with all those concerned. And, given the sensitive nature
efforts of Government and Private Stakeholders, of patient health information data safety is the other
ASSOCHAM had organized a conference on “Health vital concern,” said Dr. Rajendra Sharma.
Security for ALL” on 11 July, 2018 in New Delhi.
Having discussed the merits of technological
Dr. Rajendra Sharma Medical Superintendent, transformation in healthcare, the emerging
VMMC & Safdarjung Hospital while inaugurating challenges in Healthcare starting with access to
conference said, “We require a regulatory specialist care in rural areas, skewed doctor–patient
framework that mandates and regulates the use ratios, community social perceptive concerns apart
of EMRs (Electronic medical records) and other from alarming increase in non-communicable
clinical applications including Hospital Information diseases or NCD’s needs to be highlighted.
System (HIS).”
“These problems in Indian health care system
He further said “A vast majority of our hospitals includes lack of trust, the modern society is
and clinics still run on paper-based systems progressively loosing the trust in the healthcare
and have no centralized system to store medical service be it the doctors, hospitals or labs. Part of
records. National Policy for the same is also under this problem is due to increased costs which make
consideration. Such systems are presently being a negative outcome doubtful and the other part is
adapted by larger central referral hospitals like because of a significant part of healthcare delivery
Safdarjung Hospital and AIIMS.” chain is under regulated,” said Dr. Sharma.

The citizens of India will benefit from an “Unfortunately people are also wary of
integrated health information system across government health institutions due to the large
all states. This system will aid in all aspects of
healthcare planning, delivery, and monitoring,
including disease surveillance, patient medical
records, planning for human resources, continuing
medical education, facility registration, and
telemedicine initiatives. The same has also been
envisaged as priority area in the National Health
Policy 2017.

The first step in the process of technology
adoption will be to capture all patient health
information at the point of care, especially hospitals
and clinics. This information may then be shared
with health information exchanges where it can
be accessed easily by doctors and hospitals. It will
save duplication of tests, the associated costs and
precious time, in instances where minutes can make


AYUSHMAN BHARAT Respect for patients and a focus on results will not
-NATIONAL HEALTH be easy to achieve.
Specific training in patient safety issues, making
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime policy and implementation of patient safety
Minister Narendra Modi in March 2018 standards is crucial to improving accountability.
has approved the launch of a new Centrally
Sponsored Ayushman Bharat -National Health There is a significant emphasis in the
Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) having central government trying to increase the health outlay
sector component under Ayushman Bharat but the problems remain in the implementation of
Mission anchored in the Ministry of Health and schemes primarily due to lack of trained manpower
Family Welfare (MoHFW). The scheme has and inability of the society to bear the higher cost
the benefit cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per associated with better level of training.
year. The target beneficiaries of the proposed
scheme will be more than 10 crore families This quality perception is exaggerated by the
belonging to poor and vulnerable population fierce competition among private providers, which
based on SECC database. AB-NHPM will compels them to satisfy customers by focusing on
subsume the on-going centrally sponsored the immediate relief of symptoms rather than the
schemes -RashtriyaSwasthyaBimaYojana most effective treatment.
(RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health
Insurance Scheme (SCHIS). AB-NHPM will The use of public sector, becomes at times,
target about 10.74 crore poor, deprived rural challenging due to huge numbers, time taken in
families and identified occupational category delivery and communication issues. The other
of urban workers’ families as per the latest extreme of this spectrum who are willing to pay a
Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data arm and a leg only to take treatment at the most
covering both rural and urban. The scheme is expensive private hospital, thinking that that the
designed to be dynamic and aspirational and price correlates to quality. People need to informed
it would take into account any future changes and educated to take better decisions and having
in the exclusion/ inclusion/ deprivation/ a long term vision on their health condition rather
occupational criteria in the SECC data. than looking only at the emergent treatment.

crowds and unmatched resources for the larger The government hospitals are now covered under
population base. Reducing the out-of-pocket a direct patient feedback system by the name of
expense on healthcare is likely to address this Mera Haspatal. The patient is directly invited to give
problem and we may see it in time with the roll a quick feedback and score the services using their
out of the Ayushman Bharat – National Health registered mobile number. Such systems should be
Protection Mission of universal health insurance,” adapted by all hospitals and even shared with policy
added Dr. Rajendra Sharma. makers to help better plan healthcare delivery.
Further quality certification authorities, in addition
The government wants to see more people come to their mandate should reach out to the institutions
to its facilities, but this will require a fundamental in facilitating and helping them develop and adapt
shift in thinking. As it stands healthcare providers standard operating procedures and other quality
are not held accountable for a lot of their actions requirements.
excluding the Doctors who are liable under
the Consumer Protection Act. Introducing The feedback also has to matter, because if it is
accountability into private and government not acted upon, citizens will lose interest. It must be
healthcare will require a profound culture change. integrated into the human resources management
system of the staff, including annual performance
reviews, promotions and transfers. But there is no
comparable platform in India today that reaches the
three-quarters of Indians who live in rural areas.

There are other concerns that are being
addressed at some level although a lot of potential
exists in increasing the participation of private
sector in these roles like reducing the cost of
consumables and devices – price capping, best
practices, and has it really reduced the cost of
treatment. Increasing training facilities under
skill India at an affordable cost and increase
participation in community health programmers
maybe through CSR activities.

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BioSpectrum Asia August 2018