Shifting to a new era of technology-based work

28 December 2020 | Features

The coming time is expected to create an optimistic impact on the global market for contract development and manufacturing organization. Several companies will be in an attempt to speed up their productivity to fulfill the growing demand, after the end of the pandemic. In addition, as sites, sponsors, and clinical research organizations shift to a new era of technology-based work, the groundwork is being laid for continued adoption of remote processes long after the pandemic has gone. BioSpectrum reaches out to the bioservices industry for its plans in 2021.

“Creating a skilled force in biomanufacturing”


Being the preferred partners in biomanufacturing, we are committed to invest and support in a big way to nurture the emerging biotech sector with the best of our ability. We will continue to invest in tools and technologies globally that will accelerate and advance therapeutics in biologics, vaccines, plasma, cell and gene therapy. The collaborations that are lined up with the top academic labs and centre for excellence in India will be a game changer in meeting the vision of creating a skilled force in the niche areas of biomanufacturing, drug discovery and automation. We will explore to collaborate with our local partners to meet the new policy frame work designed by the government.


Vaggu Raghavendra Goud, General Manager, Cytiva South Asia, Hyderabad



“Hoping to continue on same growth trajectory”


We hope to continue on the same growth trajectory in the next year and use all that we have learnt during the pandemic to address our customers’ needs better. The COVID-19 pandemic has been an accelerator of change for building a stronger and more resilient healthcare ecosystem. It has strengthened the value proposition and importance of having an agile and innovative life sciences industry. As we prepare to transition to stability, the world will pivot in many ways through shifts in behaviour and preferences, and adoption of technology. We will continue to stay close to our customers, employees, suppliers and partners to understand their needs and continue to deliver on all fronts. 


Amit Mookim, Managing Director, IQVIA India, Mumbai




“Opening new facilities”


We are in the midst of an organization wide transformative initiative Sai Nxt. Guided by the insights and feedback from our customers, we are investing upwards of $150 million to top-grade every aspect of our organization. We have already added 172 KL API & intermediate manufacturing capacity, expanded our geographic footprint with R&D facilities in Boston and Manchester, and opened a new 83,000 sq. ft. integrated research & technology center in Hyderabad.  In 2021, we continue this journey of transformation with Sai Nxt adding new facilities, enhancing operational excellence, and expanding customer outreach. The new facilities scheduled to open this year include high potent R&D and manufacturing capability, clean room block and 200KL additional manufacturing capacity. In recent months, we have expanded our customer outreach in newer markets and will further strengthen it in the coming months. Our investments in hard infrastructure are being backed with substantial investments in people development, automation, data systems, process improvements and shop-floor transformation. 


Krishna Kanumuri, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Sai Life Sciences, Hyderabad




“Making our solutions more technology-intensive”


Excelra’s business goal remains transforming life science data into actionable insights for our clients. Our offerings run through ‘from molecule to market’ essentially catering to the entire pharma R&D value chain all the way up to commercialization. Our short term goals include focusing on the new growth areas such as value evidence and tech solutions; evolving new business models by increasing revenue contribution from product or platform subscriptions and investing in making our solutions more technology-intensive and value-accretive; establishing US operations; and developing deeper relationships with our key clients.


Anandbir Singh Brar, Chief Executive Officer, Excelra, Hyderabad




“Using real word data to accelerate innovation”


2021 will be the year of opportunities. Our world, pivoting in response to the pandemic, has demonstrated great resilience and has shifted quickly to work in new and different ways to accelerate new therapies. Moving forward with a patients-first approach, it will become imperative to design studies keeping in mind patients’ convenience and safety. Decentralized trials and improving capabilities in cell and gene therapy research will be instrumental in creating state-of-the-art infrastructure to conduct clinical trials. Parexel is at the forefront of using real world data (RWD) and real world evidence (RWE) to accelerate innovation and improve efficiency in the new global regulatory environment.


Sanjay Vyas, Senior Vice President, India Country Head & Managing Director, Parexel, Bengaluru




“Building expertise in advanced technologies”


Syngene today is actively engaged in supplying reagents and proteins for use in diagnostic kits. We are also working with partners on advanced therapy programmes such as neutralizing antibodies and developing models for use as innovative research tools.  Our Ace2 receptor model and pseudovirion based assays are all outcomes of the COVID-19 related needs and opportunities. As for next year, it will depend on the speed and effectiveness of the vaccine deployment programmes that different countries are taking up.  This will in turn play an important role in the subsequent waves of COVID-19 and the ability to return to normalcy.  Regardless, the 100 per cent employee testing programme introduced in 2020 will help ensure Syngene operates with minimum disruption.  We will continue to build on our expertise in advanced technologies such as sophisticated immuno-oncology assays, integrated drug discovery and CAR-T design for research of next generation therapies as well as build on our capacities to serve the growing requirements of our clients.


Dr Mahesh Bhalgat, Chief Operating Officer, Syngene International, Hyderabad




“Implementing automation initiatives”


We will create new alliances in niche areas. We are currently assessing options and are in talks with some companies. We will continue with implementation of automation initiatives with the aim of bringing them to market in the coming year. We will bring internal efficiencies to the way current processes are being handled, with the eventual benefit received by our clients, project optimize is what we call it. While growing the SIRO family, we would strive to continue building a culturally strong and happy organization.


Akshay Daftary, Director of Business Development, SIRO Clinpharm, Mumbai



“Offering more contract manufacturing services”


Tex Biosciences is actively leveraging on its manufacturing capabilities and offering more contract manufacturing services of biotech products to principal companies. In this regard, we have been able to add new clients to our list and expand the range of products we now manufacture. Apart from contract manufacturing, we have been able to expand into new geographical areas through exports of products in leather, animal feed, water treatment, paper, textiles and detergents.


Aravindha Prakash Krishnamachari, Director, Tex Biosciences, Chennai




“Expecting 300 per cent growth”


In 2020, we have expanded our portfolio to many more industries. Also, we have added new territories for our operations. Now, we're working with more 25 countries globally. Recently in light of the coronavirus, we have developed a specialised enzymes based multipurpose disinfectant which has been put into focus a lot. This product has found great acceptance and utility. Even in these COVID times, we expect a 300 per cent growth this year. Our diversification strategy in terms of geographies and industries has helped us achieve this. 


Adarsh Desai, Managing Director, Infinita Biotech, Vadodara



“Focusing on technology enablement”


The CRO Industry is at an inflection point as COVID-19 has changed clinical trials forever with technology-enabled services being in the forefront as the new normal. We are witnessing the beginning of a restructuring of the clinical trial landscape. Returning to the traditional models will not be possible, even in the post-COVID world. Our broad future plans include focus on technology enablement. This is achieved by integrating disparate systems usually used in clinical trial systems and which supports us in providing the real-time insights and also data-driven decisions, which are made for the studies. Through this we are fully driven in terms of executing the next-gen clinical trials. We also plan to make a shift in our approach towards clinical development. Key lessons learnt during the pandemic and the way we have executed the six COVID-19 studies have made us more adaptable and flexible in terms of study management. We will be future proofing with real time insights - driven optimization to inform sponsor team and executive management with real time status decisions and deliver quality outcomes. There will be greater implementation of patient engagement tools and remote monitoring.


Srinivasan H R, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, TAKE Solutions, Chennai




“Opening large animal facility for medical device testing”


Post COVID-19, the growth of the healthcare and preclinical contract research organizations (CRO) services market is expected to grow due to increase in number of clinical trials and increasing expenditure in R&D and outsourcing activities worldwide. 2021 is going to give a huge stimulus to CRO industry. The massive efforts to develop vaccines, new diagnostics, medical devices, repurpose existing anti-viral drugs and develop new drugs is the new hope and opportunities for Vipragen to explore. We have put a foot forward in the areas of medical devices, analytical chemistry, Inhalation toxicology, in vitro toxicology and other areas of preclinical discovery and development which will take major shape in the coming year. We are coming up with a large animal/non rodent facility for safety and medical device testing. We as a CRO plan to be more agile, how to de-risk our R&D and show early successes. 


Dr Chaitra Harsha, Managing Director, Vipragen Biosciences, Mysuru



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