Cancer biologicals to bring in new hope, say experts at BioAsia

(L to R) D. Balaubramanian , { Director of Research Emeritus, L.V.Prasad Eye Institute }, Prof Michael Hall { (Lasker Awardee) Biozentrum , University of Basel, Switzerland }, Dr. Shreeram Aradhye (Chief Medical Officer, Novartis Pharma USA ), Dr Udit Batra (Member of the Executive Board, CEO Life Science , Merck, Germany ) at Bio Asia 2018 in HICC on Friday. Photo: Surya Sridhar

Hyderabad: Cancer is adding a major economic burden on nations and there is a need for collaborations between pharmaceutical companies and other stakeholders to find solutions. Though industry is exploring personalised medicines for the treatment of cancer, one should realise that it is not just medicines but other healthcare interventions better the treatment outcome, pointed out Novartis Pharma chief medical officer Dr Shreeram Aradhye in his keynote address on Friday, the second day of BioAsia 2018 being held in Hyderabad.

Presenting his key note address, he said, Novartis is making efforts to carry out research on several areas including cancer in India and the nation is a key hub for all its global activities.

Professor Michael H ll, Biozentrum University of Basel, Switzerland, who has received several international awards for his cancer research said, his group’s recent findings on target of repamycin (TOR) protein has given new hope for the treatment of cancer. Though no pharma companies are working on using this protein for diabetes treatment, there is certainly some suitability of the findings in treatment beyond cancer.

Stating that the need for biologicals is growing in India and worldwide, Merck Life Science CEO Dr Udit Batra said, industry is making investments in new technologies to improve the outcomes from biologicals development.

Oncology remains a key therapeutic area where companies are looking at bringing out biologicals. Across therapeutic segments, there is a $20 billion opportunity waiting for the industry to tap. India certainly is catching up with the world’s growth in biologicals, with the segment growing from the current $310 million market to a $1.35 billion market.

As the importance of biologicals keeps improving, Merck through its entity Sigma Aldrich is extending services to the biologics producers in India in the area of process development.