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Rs 100-cr worth MoUs signed at biotech meet

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AS many as eight MoUs, involving an investment of Rs 100 crore, were signed between the Indian and foreign companies on Sunday, the concluding day of the three-day international conference, Biotech Invest - 2003, jointly organised here by All-India Biotech Association - Southern Chapter and the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chapter of Commerce and Industry.

The MoUs, signed in the presence of the State Minister for Biotechnology and Small-Scale Industries, Mr B. Gopala Krishna Reddy, pertained to transfer of technology in drug development, clinical trials and nanotechnology, production facilities for bio-engineering and instrumentation and data management services.

According to Mr Chandrasekhar Reddy, Director of Andhra Pradesh Industrial Development Corporation (APIDC), Nova Tera Foundation of the US and Genotex International India signed a MoU for transfer of technology for development of drugs for cancer, infectious diseases and sexually transmitted diseases.

The total project cost was estimated to be Rs 50 crore. As per the MoU, Nova Tera would transfer Rs 5 crore worth of intellectual property to Genotex and the latter would invest Rs 5 crore in the project. The remaining amount would be raised through debt and venture capital.

Similarly, Biotechnology International LLC, an international consortium of various biotech companies headquartered at Research Triangle of North Carolina in the US, has signed four MoUs with DRS Systems for data management of clinical trials, Sipra for clinical trials and contract research, Biowoice Knowledge Services for placing students and software service in the US and the All-India Biotech Association for facilitating entrepreneurship and research.

The consortium, comprising companies mostly headed by non-resident Indians, wanted to be a bridge between the North American biotech, pharma and life sciences companies and international markets.

Another MoU was signed between EFS Systems of the US and Shanta Biotechniques envisaging general collaboration in business and research for new therapeutics of current molecules.

EFS would also licence technology to Shanta Biotechinques. This apart, CiVenti Chem of the US entered into a MoU with Otira Pharmaceuticals for marketing of the latter's drug, acetamide, in the US.

CiVenti would also provide assistance to Otira for developing other drug intermediaries.

The Seoul-based Best Korea Company and Indosystems International have also signed a MoU for building and running a joint production facility for manufacturing fomenters and bioreactors.

The APIDC Director said another five MoUs were expected to be signed in a couple of months. A total of 26 companies from the UK, the US, Australia, Israel, Korea and Canada took part in the conference.

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