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Global meet hit by bandh, agitation

Special Correspondent


Many delegates call in to cancel their registration at the last minute

Delegates complain of difficulties in commuting to hotel from airport


HYDERABAD: Bio Asia 2011, which kicked off here on Tuesday, was hit by the ongoing 48-hour bandh demanding Statehood for Telangana. As compared to an expected 500 delegates, attendance at the 8 {+t} {+h} edition's inaugural was less than 150.

Rows of empty seats were seen at the venue of both the inaugural and the distinguished lecture session. Several delegates were heard complaining about the difficulties they faced, commuting to their hotel from the airport as cab drivers demanded fares that were clearly many times more than the actual. Added to their woes was the ongoing strike by radio cabs. Organisers agreed that they did not expect such low attendance and said that many delegates had called in to cancel their registration at the last minute due to the unrest on account of the Telangana agitation.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy also expressed his inability to make it in view of his pre-occupation with the ongoing Assembly session. It was left to Minister for Major Industries J. Geetha Reddy to give away the International Genome Valley Excellence Award to K. Anji Reddy, Chairman, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories (DRL).

The Minister said exports in the sector were expected to touch US $ 10 billion by 2015 and said Hyderabad was the bulk drug capital of the country with 266 manufacturers from the State. Of 160 approved US-FDA plans in India, 49 were from Andhra Pradesh, she said, adding that 300 drugs marketed in the USA were also from AP.

Roger L. Williams, CEO, US Pharmacopeia (USP), said India should evolve its own standards on biological medicinesto become a world model. He said biological medicines and bio-similars were achieving great significance in recent times and that India had great opportunity to leverage the potential, making efficacy, safety and quality standards critical.

Dr. Anji Reddy said a new anti-cholesterol drug developed by the pharma major was set to enter its second phase of trials in two months. The two other companies other than DRL working on a similar molecule are Roche and Merck.

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