ImageThere is a greater need for collaboration between pharma companies across the globe in research and licensing in view of the present economic slowdown.

This was the opinion expressed by panelists at a discussion on business drivers leading to collaboration and licensing at the on-going BioAsia 2009 here on Monday.

Alliances and collaboration in the global pharma industry are necessary as there has been a phenomenal increase in spending on licensing procedures and shortage of capital, especially for smaller yet innovation-driven companies. “Over 65 per cent of our revenues in 2007 were attributable to alliance products and patents,” Mr Reid J. Lenoard, Executive Director (Licensing and External Research), Merck & Co. Inc, said. Merck had a success story in building partnerships, he said, adding that in 2007 alone it had entered into 55 partnerships.

According to Mr Ravi Sodha, Senior Director (Business Development), Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Switzerland, in-licensed products would contribute 50 per cent of revenues in the pharma industry by 2010.

“Partnering is becoming all the more important and also difficult as many companies chase a single target,” he said. Prof Brain F. Clark, President of European Federation of Biotechnology (EFB), said his federation was ready to help India, Russia and China in tackling the growing menace of tuberculosis.

FUNDING:

Speaking at a session on ‘Innovative solutions to funding challenges’, Mr Sarath Naru, Managing Partner, APIDC Venture East, Hyderabad, said the venture capitalist community needs to find new solutions to mobilise funds.

“In an extremely difficult situation to raise money, we need to make our funds work more to fetch better returns,” he said.

Mr Jasmin Patel, Managing Director, Fidelity India Capital, said the investment scenario in healthcare and pharma industry remained positive.