Triconference witnesses 250 attendees from India and abroad
Drug Discovery India 2014, Drug Metabolism & Discovery ADMET, Indian Lab Automation 2014 were recently organised by Select Biosciences India in Mumbai. The triconference had the themes Drug Discovery, Drug Metabolism and Discovery ADMET and Drug Discovery Laboratory Automation. Express Pharma was the media partner for the event.
The conference was inaugurated by Dr Rathnam Chuguturu, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, iDDPartners, Dr Harish Pant, Senior Investigator, National Institute of Health, USA, Asit Chakraborti, Professor and Head, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research and Dr Sanjay Bajaj, Managing Director, Select Biosciences India .
Over 250 attendees attended the conference from India and abroad. The attendees included drug discovery scientists both from academics and industry as well as pre-doctoral researchers. The conference saw participation from over 15 different countries and across 20 states in India. The conference witnessed over 50 talks, more than 35 poster presentations, a discussion on OSDD and a panel discussion on the topic ‘Drug Discovery Contract Research Landscape – India 2020.’
The DDI conference was divided in two tracks. Track 1 was entitled ‘Synthesis & Screening of Drugs and Phytochemicals’ and Track 2 ‘Chemical Biology Approaches to Drug Discovery’ running simultaneously in two separate halls. The Drug Metabolism and Discovery ADMET and Indian Laboratory Automation were conducted in the third hall simultaneously.
Bajaj welcomed the speakers and delegates and introduced the organisation and activities. He informed the audience that Select Biosciences India is now doing over 100 events per year across the globe and over 15 events per year only in India. He also introduced their new events and the new activities like ‘Medha-Knowledge Contest’ which is open to all scientists.
Chaguturu said, “There is a need to expand the wealth of chemical diversity to strategically cover available chemical space and include drug-like compounds with improved pharmacologic, pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties as compared to their current nitrogen-rich counterparts.” This was followed by inauguration of the exhibition having participation by companies namely, Promega, Grace, Freeslate, ACD Labs, Agilent, Accelerys, Elsevier and BioScreen.
In his keynote address, Chakraborti said that his research is directed towards the implementation of green chemistry principles adopting aquatic organic reaction and nano-catalysis through the development of new concept on ensembling catalysis by binary metal nano cluster.
In another keynote address Dr Jyoti Chattopadhyaya, Professor, Uppsala University presented experimental evidence in support of the fact that water deprivation in the RNA duplexes retards its cleavage/degradation rate. Amongst the other notable speakers were Dr Yacine Laabi – Senior Group Leader, i-STEM, France, Dr Anamik Shah, Professor/Principal Investigator, Saurashtra University, India, Dr GN Sastry, Scientist and Head, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, India, Dr Ashok Vaidya, Research Director, Kasturba Health Society, India, Dr Giancarlo Basile, Editor In Chief, CRDD, Italy, Dr Ian Gilbert, Professor, University of Dundee, UK, Dr Harish Pant, Senior Investigator, National Institute of Health, USA, Dr Umesh Desai, Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA, Dr Maria Costi, Professor, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy.
After the first day of the conference an evening workshop entitled ‘RNA Silencing for Drug Discovery-Challenges and Strategies’ was conducted. Albert Li, President and Chief Executive Officer, In Vitro ADMET Laboratories while speaking on the session on Drug Metabolism and Discovery ADMET, presented novel findings including the successful preparation of plateable cryopreserved human hepatocytes from multiple donors (pooled plateable human hepatocytes) and application of hepatocytes to evaluate hepatic metabolism-dependent hepatotoxicity and non-hepatic toxicity.
On the second day, a session was held on laboratory automation in which discussions were held by application experts from companies like Agilent, ACD Labs and Freeslate.
The event also featured an open discussion on the “Collaborative and open Source drug discovery” which was initiated by Dr Anshu Bhardwaj – Scientist, CSIR-Open Drug Discovery Unit, India followed by other experts including Shah, Dr Sanjay Batra – Principal Scientist, CSIR-CDRI, India and Dr G Narahari Sastry Scientist and Head, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology
The open discussion was followed by a panel discussion on the ‘Drug Discovery – Contract Research Landscape in India 2020.’ Discussions were held on was the changing scenario of drug discovery in India which is moving from drug discovery towards drug development by CRO mainly for in-vitro assay development and screening and bioassays mainly for biosimilars and clinical trials. It was also discussed that there were issues related to regulatory approval for conducting clinical trials and the CROs do look forward to streamlining of the approval process in near future.
Posters presentation by Devyani Swami was adjudged the best by a panel of judges and was awarded ‘Budding Drug Discovery Scientist Award 2014.’ The award included a certificate, a plaque, cash prize and Free Registration for Drug Discovery India 2015, Hyderabad. Bhasakr Balaji bagged the Best Poster Award for Drug Discovery India conference and Shalu Jhajra was the winner of The Best Poster Award for Drug Metabolism and Discovery ADMET Conference.
The event concluded with the closing remarks by Chaguturu while Bajaj presented the vote of thanks.
EP News Bureau – Mumbai