India reaches out to US companies over investment in pharma, medical devices sector

PTI Washington | Updated on May 05, 2021

Ambassador to US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, holds virtual meetings with CEOs

India has reached out to top American pharma companies seeking investment in the country’s pharmaceutical and medical devices sector, which gains urgency in view of the devastating second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, has held virtual meetings with Alberta Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer, Thermo Fisher CEO Marc Casper, Bernd Brust, the chairman and CEO of Antylia Scientific, and Joseph Repp, the CEO of Pall Life Sciences.

He also had a call with Emmanuel Ligner, the CEO and president of Cytiva.

During his interactions with the pharma companies, Sandhu mentioned that India is seeking to encourage investments into the pharmaceutical and medical devices sector.

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India, he said, recently launched a production-linked incentive scheme that will provide the US companies new opportunities for investment.

“Discussed ways in which Pfizer could support healthcare efforts, including vaccines in India, and strengthen our pandemic response,” Sandhu said after his meeting with Bourla last week.

On Monday, Bourla had said that Pfizer was following with a deep concern the critical Covid-19 situation in India and his company was doing everything possible to provide support.

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“Today we have announced we are mobilising the largest humanitarian relief effort in our company’s history to help the people of India fight the vicious second wave of coronavirus that is currently ravaging the nation,” he said.

Among other things, it announced to donate enough of its medicines worth $70 million to ensure that every Covid-19 patient in every public hospital across India can have access to them in the next 90 days free of charge.

Raw materials for vaccine

In his meeting with Thermo Fisher CEO Marc Casper, Sandhu underlined their important role in the fight against the pandemic, including expediting supplies to India of raw materials for Covishield vaccine as well as for essential medicines such as remdesivir.

Massachusetts-based Thermo Fisher is a company critical in the supply chain for biopharma products. It offers analytical instruments, laboratory equipment, chemicals and supplies to pharmaceutical and biotech companies, hospitals and clinical diagnostic labs, universities, research institutions, and government agencies.

Strengthening supply chains

During his meeting with Repp, CEO of Pall Life Sciences, the Indian ambassador discussed strengthening supply chains, and expediting inputs for critical medicines such as remdesivir, and Novavax vaccine.

Pall biotech products have played a key role in life-saving drugs that range from Ebola vaccines to cancer-curing monoclonal antibodies. Its products have huge relevance given the current pandemic situation and are part of critical supply chains in the industry.

The company has an extensive network in India, including offices in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Delhi, and Bengaluru.

Sandhu, in his call with Bernd Brust, the chairman and CEO of Antylia Scientific, appreciated the efforts of his company to ensure timely inputs for Covishield and Novavax vaccines.

Antylia Scientific is a global peristaltic and single-use bioprocessing solution expert, with a diverse portfolio of life sciences and diagnostic products for the pharma, biopharma, healthcare and environmental markets.

The ambassador also had a call with Emmanuel Ligner, the CEO and president of Cytiva, which is a global provider of technologies and services that advance and accelerate the development and manufacture of therapeutics.

Published on May 05, 2021

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