The 17th edition of BioAsia, a three-day event beginning Monday, is set to host the an exhibition with about 175 exhibitors and top corporates.

A special feature will be the ‘Start-up Stage’, with about 75 start-ups from India, Switzerland, Germany, Australia and the UK competing for a cash prize. They have been short-listed from over 350 applications on the basis of the innovativeness of their products or solutions, development stage and market readiness.

The top five of the 75 will be awarded a cash prize co-sponsored by BIRAC and CIE-IIIT Hyderabad at the closing ceremony.

Telangana will host 2,000 delegates from 37 countries with the theme of ‘Today for Tomorrow’. KT Rama Rao, Minister for Industries & Commerce and IT, said: “BioAsia has been instrumental in attracting world leaders to Hyderabad.”

Key participants

The event this year will bring together a leaders including Carl June, University of Pennsylvania, CAR T-cell therapy pioneer (the world’s first gene-based cancer/HIV therapy); Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Professor of Global Health, UK (co-discoverer of the Ebola virus); Vas Narasimhan, CEO, Novartis, Switzerland; Jan Van Acker, President - Emerging Markets Human Health, MSD/Merck & Co; Dilip Shanghvi, MD, Sun Pharma; Ajay Piramal, Chairman, Piramal Enterprises; Swati Piramal, Vice-Chairperson, Piramal Enterprises; Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, CMD, Biocon Ltd; Renu Swarup, Secretary, DBT, Government of India; and PD Vaghela, Secretary, DOP, Government of India.

At BioAsia 2020’s CEO Conclave, where policy makers like Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and KT Rama Rao, will take part, industry tycoons will discuss emerging issues, challenges and opportunities available in the global life sciences sector.

This year, a spotlight session to celebrate the remarkable contributions of women, titled ‘Women in Life Sciences, Tech and Healthcare: Journey from Aspire to Inspire’, will also be held, with participation from some of the top women leaders from Indian and global companies.

Switzerland is the partner country this year. An eminent 40-member team comprising industries, academia and start-ups from that country will participate in the event.

In healthcare alone, Switzerland has over 1,400 companies employing 58,500 professionals and generating CHF 15.8 billion in revenue (in 2018). The medical tech industry there contributes 2.3 per cent of the country's GDP. Its biotech industry is home to 312 companies, generating revenue of CHF 4 billion whilst investing over CHF 1.5 billion in R&D every year.