Transcript of "Finance and investment in Biopharma : Kapil Khandelwal, EquNev Capital, www.equnev.com"
Bangalore, May 6, 2011: At the Bangalore INDIA BIO 2011, Dr. Renu Swarup,
adviser, Ministry of Science & Technology, said, "India should make more investments.
The department of biotech was launched in 2007 and from then we have focused to
establish it special organization that offers several innovative schemes. BIRAC is a
separate organization which specializes in public opportunities and several small
business have launched through the partnership route. We are also very supportive of
proof of concepts and innovations. The concept was to encourage private-public
partnership and government partnerships. The key objectives are to support early
stages of BIPP (Bio technology industry partnership programme), support for the
discovery and innovation, technology & product development."
The topic for discussion was – Finance and Investments in Biotechnology. In the panel
discussion chaired by Mr. Kapil Khandelwal - director, EquNev Capital, the other
panelists were Dr. Shirshendu Mukherjee, strategic advisor, R&D Initiative India,
Wellcome Trust , Dr. Purnima Sharma, managing director, Biotech Consortium, Dr.
Sunny Sharma, senior managing director, Asia, OrbiMed Advisors, Dr. Krathish Bopanna
- president & executive director, Semler Research Centre and Mr. Ravi Tyagi - head,
SME Project, National Stock Exchange.
Dr. Krathish Bopanna - President & Executive Director, Semler Research Centre said,
“While raising funds there are many critical factors to consider namely - strategy, the
landscape, expertise, sustainability. While doing the strategy we have to see whether
the product is of domestic , national or of international interest. Whether we can fit
many ideas and components together and also have a look at the risk factor."
"We have to be clear with the direction of what we are doing? Whether we are repeating
success or failures of the past. we should be clear in what we are doing. In partnership
business if the partners have to completley understand the risk. A funding body will
always look at an 80 percent of success rate. One must either have expertise in finance
or must have a keen business acumen. We always need a 'driver' who understands us
and a mentor to always guide. The three factors - Science, business and happiness are
like a triangle one follows the other. When we chase one it will always lead to the other.”
Dr. Purnima Sharma - managing director, Biotech Consortium, said, “Writing a proposal
is like winning a game.” International funders are always particular of how a proposal is
made. Firstly we should make sure that we are eligible for the proposal. Basic things like
reading the instructions clearly or respond to all sections and cover all the topics. Leave
nothing blank. When presenting a unique and original product it is important that the
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process are well thought of and one has to ensure that some preliminary work is done
regarding this idea. They should always be an element of innovation, novelty and a
She aslo said, "If there's the element of invention to that technology then there should
be clarity in terms of license and IP ownership on improvements or modifications that
can be made."
Dr. Shirshendu Mukherjee - strategic advisor- R&D Initiative India, Wellcome Trust ,
said, “Funding is not difficult in India if market is good then funds will be good. There
are many divisions with-in, like science funding and funding for investments in
technology transfer. We do not make portfolios but only do the funding.” Citing an
example he said, “11.4 million of people die from infectious diseases. Funds for
diagnostics and drugs addressing these infectious diseases are looked up on a priority.”
Our goal is to foster and promote research with the aim of improving humanity and
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