Hyderabad to host international biotech event

Tuesday, 24 February 2004, 08:00 Hrs
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HYDERABAD: Delegates from 24 countries will gather here Thursday to participate in BioAsia 2004, a global bio-business forum.

The three-day summit and exhibition, showcasing biotech initiatives of South Asia and Southeast Asia, will bring together Asia and the global biotech community to bridge the gap between the two.

Some agreements are likely to be signed between Indian companies and those from Asian countries and developed nations during the event.

According to B.P. Acharya, secretary for biotechnology in the Andhra Pradesh government, this will be the biggest biotech event to be held in India and 500 delegates would participate in it.

A five-member delegation from Pakistan led by Anwar Naseem, scientific advisor and chairman of that country's Biotech Council, will be among the delegates.

Delegates from Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Israel, the US, Britain, France, Italy and Switzerland will also join the event.

"The summit will witness the convergence of global thought leaders, academia, and experts of Indian and international biotech industry.

"They will discuss challenges, experiences, investments and best practices and customer expectations in biotechnology," Acharya said.

Issues ranging from marine biotechnology, molecular genetics, photodynamic therapy to new paradigms in biopharmaceutical business and venture funding will be discussed at the summit.

Outsourcing, genetically modified organisms, vaccine and drug development will be other focus areas.

Trade delegations from 15 countries will also participate in the event, which will provide a forum for one-to-one interaction to facilitate collaboration and alliances between seekers and providers, both Indian and international, for technology, products and financing.

Acharya said there was a proposal to set up an Asian Federation of Biotech Associations to provide an institutional framework for greater cooperation and networking among Asian countries.

B.S. Bajaj, chairman of the All India Biotech Association, said a US company was keen to invest in India and other Asian countries in venture capital for the biotechnology industry.

Acharya said the summit would reiterate Andhra Pradesh's potential as a favoured biotechnology destination.

Andhra Pradesh currently has the largest concentration of biotech companies with 104 such firms, and 80 percent of them are located in Hyderabad. The city also has a biotechnology park and Genome Valley, which is hosting the event.

Acharya said BioAsia would be an annual feature.

During the summit, the organisers have decided to honour M.S. Swaminathan, Unesco Cousteau Chair in eco-technology, and William Rutter, CEO of Synergies LLC, by conferring on them the Genome Valley Excellence Awards for their outstanding contributions to biotechnology.

Source: IANS
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