If you have worked in India’s pharma industry, you’ll probably have heard about APAC Biotech before this article. The company is the first in India to work on this new exciting branch of cancer therapeutics: Dendritic Cell Therapy. They conducted the first trial in India on Autologous Dendritic Cell Immunotherapy for Refractory Cancer Treatment and were the first to receive PMS approval for dendritic cell immunotherapy from the local regulator, CDSCO. The treatment observed a successful disease stabilization and long-term survival in 30% of the refractory patients with APCEDEN (Dendritic cell based Vaccine) with nearly zero side effects, comparable to any other Dendritic cell based trial across the globe. It is our pleasure to have the President and Director of R&D of the company, Dr Bandana Sharan speaking at Phar-East 2018 in Singapore from 28th February to 2nd March on their company structure, pipeline and collaboration opportunities.
As usual, we asked Dr Sharan speakers several questions prior to the conference to give you a quick overview on what to expect from their presentation. Here is our Q&A session with Dr Bandana Sharan.
Q:Please give our readers a quick overview of APAC Biotech and its vision
Bandana: APAC BIOTECH strives to find roots of cancer – the world’s alarming disease, by transforming the promise of technology and knowledge of biology into therapies that have the power to restore health and even save lives of cancer patients. APAC BIOTECH is providing dendritic cell therapy for cancer and primarily focused on the research of customized autologous cell based therapy for cancer in India. This is a leading biotechnology company which is involved in research based Dendritic cell therapy and preparing the (APCEDEN) Immunoonco based Product to impede the growth of cancer cells.
It was the foresightedness of two enterprising visionaries, Mr. Sanjiv Jain & Mr. Arun Mehra who came up with novel idea of bringing up a DC research Lab in India thus putting us ahead on the medical landscape by introducing upcoming technologies much in advance than others. Both these visionaries laid a foundation of APAC BIOTECH in 2010, an organization based at Gurgaon that took an initiative to make a breakthrough innovation in the field of Dendritic Cell Therapy.
Our vision is to improve the life expectancy by providing safe and effective dendritic cell based therapy to cancer patients. While, we prepare ourselves for a larger cause of fighting Cancer, we also see our growth, contributing to the country’s progress which is fast emerging as a medical tourism destination.
Q: What is your biggest challenge working on immunotherapy product in India?
Bandana: The biggest challenge that we have faced while working on immunotherapy in India is streamlining the introduction of new product and new technology platforms to support the ambition of pushing a far greater number of molecules. There are operational and technological challenges. Unlike the generic market, where market entry is fairly simple and well established, there are substantial barriers to entry into the biologics/ immunotherapy market.
The major challenge working on immunotherapy product in India is the logistic as the product is a personalized and India being a diverse access to the patients in remote areas is difficult. Lack of awareness of the immunotherapy product was also a major challenge. But nevertheless APAC BIOTECH made a Breakthrough and after years of struggle the Indian FDA approved the product APCEDEN for treating Cancer patients which has created a flutter in the Indian market
Q: How do innovative companies like APAC Biotech get funded and survive in the competitive biosimilars and generics market?
Bandana: The high cost of biologics has become an important issue in the battle to control healthcare costs. The investment needed to develop and market a immunotherapy product is considerably higher than that is required in the biosimilars & generic market. The most effective survival option is strategic alliance with global pharma companies to strengthen the generic portfolio and jointly market the drugs globally.
Q: Who/what company would you like to meet at Phar-East?
Bandana: We would like to meet like minded people who are working for similar products and innovative biological innovators / pharmaceutical firms focusing on product innovation and working rapidly to develop new therapies .
Bandana will join us at Phar-East 2018 along with over 120 other speakers! Find out more from our website: www.terrapinn.com/phar-east/
About Phar-East 2018
From humble beginnings as BioMedical Asia in 2008, BioPharma Asia has attracted close to 20,000 attendees over the last 10 years. Established as a true one-stop shop for all things biopharma, our 2018 program is rebranded into Phar East 2018 to explore innovation in clinical trials, manufacturing, supply chain, market access, partnering, pricing, and more without restricting itself on the type and nature of therapeutic products. Visit our website for more information: www.terrapinn.com/phar-east/