New Delhi ,
SCO member countries deliberate about leveraging the works undertaken in India on cost-effective Diagnostics and Therapeutics
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has been actively working towards collaborations in various fields, and the recent virtual conference conducted by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India, has proved to be an excellent platform for its members to come together and deliberate on the need for improved access to cost-effective diagnostics and therapeutics.
The event, held on 2nd May 2023, was chaired by Shri Awadhesh Kumar Chaudhary, Senior Economic Advisor, Department of Pharmaceuticals, and saw the participation of member states, observers, and dialogue partners of the SCO. The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, also supported the conference, which aimed to provide deep insights into the cutting-edge work being undertaken in various departments of the Indian Government.
During the conference, experts in the field of pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and therapeutics presented detailed and enriching presentations. Prof. V. Ravichandiran, Director of the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Kolkata, and Dr. Shridhar Naryanan, Senior Technical Advisor, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, presented on the topic of improving access and enhanced manufacturing of therapeutics with reference to neglected tropical diseases & rare diseases and research on newer therapeutics for inherited rare diseases.
Dr. Nivedita Gupta, Scientist-F and Head of the Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases (ECD) Division, Indian Council of Medical Research, presented on the topic of developing and validating new diagnostics for infectious diseases. Dr. Manisha Shridhar and Dr. Madhur Gupta of the World Health Organisation, along with Dr. Kalaivani Ganesan of the Department of Biotechnology, presented on the development and validation of new platform technologies for diagnostics and therapeutics.
Ms. Marta Fernández Suárez, Chief Technology Officer of the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), and Mr. Bhaskar Malladi, Association of Diagnostic Manufacturers of India, presented on the development of cost-effective diagnostic panels/kits for molecular testing of diseases, including rare diseases at pre-natal and post-natal stages. Dr. Y.K. Gupta, Principal Advisor India Strategy Development Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnerships (GARDP), and Mr. Yann Ferrise, presented on green technology and process efficiency for API.
Lastly, Dr. P.K.S. Sarma, General Manager (GM) & Head – Technical, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council representative, presented on public-private partnerships for scaling up technologies from lab to market. The presentations were greatly appreciated by the attendees, who acknowledged the importance of collaboration in research and development activities in the field of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for improved access to affordable diagnostics and therapeutics. The member states of the SCO, along with India, have realized the importance of collaborations to effectively tackle emerging health emergencies. India has emerged as a strong manufacturing base in the area of diagnostics and therapeutics, and the Indian Government has been at the forefront of assisting various countries in times of public health emergencies.
The virtual conference provided an excellent opportunity for member states of the SCO to discuss how they can leverage the cutting-edge work being undertaken in various departments of the Indian Government. It was an occasion to deliberate on how member states can collaborate to achieve their objectives of ensuring affordable diagnostics and therapeutics. The conference saw the participation of representatives from various countries who provided updates on the work happening in their respective countries and the scope of collaboration with India.