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Biggest Covid lesson is to be self-reliant in APIs and minimise dependency on China: Karan Bagaria, MD, Kemwell Biopharma

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covidcovidThe trend is to become self-reliant in API space and minimise dependency on China.

Healthcare in India is vast, complex and full of paradoxes, but still one of the fastest-growing areas. It has undergone huge positive developments in terms of technology, medicines, R&D, or attracting Indian and international investors’ attention. The minds behind the healthcare system have been striving to find a solution to any medical challenge that comes upon us. However, the entry of COVID has established the fact that we need a robust, collaborative, scalable, and agile digital healthcare infrastructure. Financial Express Online held a discussion with Karan Bagaria, Managing Director, Kemwell Biopharma on the issue. Kemwell Biopharma is a leading biologics CDMOs in Asia, providing end-to-end integrated development and manufacturing solutions that are compliant with US FDA and EU regulations. It claims to be the only pureplay Biologics CDMO in India with both Drug Substance (DS) and Drug Product (DP) development and manufacturing capabilities, dedicatedly focused on client projects and thus ensuring zero business conflicts among stakeholders. Excerpts

How has the focus on COVID impacted the research for finding medicines for other life-threatening diseases?

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COVID pandemic impact has been vast as priority all over the world was towards finding COVID vaccine. R&D funds and resources, particularly raw materials were diverted towards COVID projects. Other projects took backseat, there were delays in patient recruitments for clinical trials, material procurement, time to start manufacturing for other projects increased by 3-4 months causing significant delays. These delays also increased the cost of R&D, clinical trials and manufacturing.

karan bagariakaran bagariakaran bagariaKaran Bagaria, Managing Director, Kemwell Biopharma

Elaborate on the trends that the healthcare system in India is thriving on

The trend is to become self-reliant in API space and minimise dependency on China. The Government aims to develop India as a global healthcare hub. For example, Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for promotion of domestic manufacturing of critical Key Starting Materials (KSMs)/ Drug Intermediates and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) in India and Scheme for Promotion of Bulk Drug Parks. We have also seen increase in the use of IT technology for collection of patient data, electronic health record keeping which allows providing quick diagnosis and care. COWIN is an excellent example of registration, vaccination and digital certification of COIVD vaccination.

What is the one thing that India’s healthcare system needs?

“Stimulate R&D in Pharma” – Despite being the largest producer of generic medicines in the world, Indian Pharma companies failed to discover novel drug molecules of a global standard. The drug discovery scheme was first outlined by the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) last year, but took the backseat due to Covid-19 pandemic and focus was shifted to PLI. We believe, Govt to reinitiate discussion on drug discovery scheme involving major Indian Pharma companies, CROs and CDMOs so as to create integrated and cohesive ecosystem. R&D partnerships between industry and academic institutions needs to be bolstered

What is your vision for the healthcare system of our country?

Kemwell as a First choice of biologics CDMO, we offer high quality and low cost biologics drugs for the treatment of cancer and inflammation therapeutics. With this vision, we invite Indian and global biologics and biosimilar companies to use our R&D and manufacturing expertise and infrastructure.

Any message you want to communicate for the world health day which recently passed.

On World Health Day, Kemwell salutes and thanks to doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers around the world for their services and building healthier societies.

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