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There were two sessions in the symposium. The first session was on the topic “Global Market of Spices and Functional Extracts” by Dr. Viju Jacob (Managing Director, Synthite Industries Private Ltd., Kolenchery, Kerala). The session was chaired by Dr. Lekshmi R. Nath(Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacognosy, Amrita School of Pharmacy). Dr. Viju Jacob briefly explained about the setting up of ‘Synthite Industrial Chemicals Pvt. Ltd.’ in Kolenchery, a village close to Cochin in Kerala, South India. He gave details of the first batch of industry certified (US FDA) Oleoresins rolled out from his Kolenchery plant after three years of establishment of the company.

Dr. Jacob explained that Synthite accounts for more than 35% of the global Oleoresins market.  He explained how he set up a floral extraction plant in Tamil Nadu, which is the backbone of the Indian cosmetic and perfume industry today.  He described that his industry enabled a generation of employment to 1000 villagers in the vicinity of the unit. Later on, he gave details about Marigold cultivation, which was introduced in India by Synthite in a systematic way on a commercial scale, resulting in the generation of employment for over 14000 farmers. Dr. Jacob also mentioned that a new facility opened in 2018 in the Shandong province of China for spice extraction and purification, namely Synthite Shandong Biotech Co., Ltd.

Synthite runs its worldwide operations out of entities/ offices in the USA, Brazil, Europe, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and China, as well as having warehouses in various parts of the world. Even though Synthite is recognized worldwide for its impeccable quality paprika, its advanced spice division produces and processes a variety of other value-added spice extracts that are recognized as the best in class. He also pointed out that Synthite’s spice division offers whole, powdered and even processed spices that meet global food safety standards.  A wide range of powdered and sterilized spices conform to the stringent European Commission directives for microbial load, pesticide residues, aflatoxin and other contaminants.  He concluded by saying that it God’s grace that fulfills one’s effort and without that no success can be achieved.

The second session discussed the topic “Global Pharmaceutical Market Dynamics- Nuances and Trends” by Mr. Mark Stevens (Managing Director & Partner- Life Sciences, Guide house, USA). The chairperson was Dr. Sudheesh M. S. (Associate Professor, Department of Pharmaceutics, Amrita School of Pharmacy). Mr. Mark Stevens shared his experience as a global leader with 25+ years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. He discussed the global market of pharmaceutical products and compared the market share of different countries. He briefly discussed the drug discovery process, patents, patent protection and pricing of pharmaceutical products. The financial aspects of drug discovery and the huge risk involved in the process were highlighted.

Mr. Stevens also discussed the current shift of the pharmaceutical industry from a volume-based industry to a value-based industry. He explained the role of personalized medicine as the future of pharmacy and how it is revolutionizing the pharma sector.  Pharmacy graduates are expected to play a big role in this shift and they are expected to update their skill sets to the changing needs of the pharmaceutical industry. The paradigm shift in health care based on artificial intelligence was also highlighted. The session was interactive and students were given the opportunity to share their views.

The session concluded by the Q&A session and Dr. Sabitha M., Principal Amrita School of Pharmacy presented the memento to both the speakers, as a token of gratitude. This was followed by a vote of thanks by Mr. Vishnu Surya Mohan, Manager, Corporate Relations, Amrita School of Pharmacy.

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