The Indian pharmaceutical industry is on the rise like never before. A large number of drugs are on the pipeline ready anytime to hit the market. Most of them are from biological sources or processes and hence are called biopharmaceuticals, or biologics. It is estimated that roughly 30% of all drugs today are of biotechnological origin and that by 2025 the numbers will reach an astounding 50%.
Dr. Krishna Menon, the director the biopharmaceutical/ biologics department of US Pharmacopia in Hyderabad, was this week’s Seminar Series guest speaker at Amrita School of Biotechnology. Despite her impressive background which comprises of extensive research at a number of reputed universities worldwide including University of Osaka, Cornell University, and University of California Berkeley, Dr. Menon began her talk by humbly stating that “the eight years I have spent in the pharmaceutical industry were mostly a learning experience”. She then dwelled into the challenges, scope, and opportunities of biopharmaceuticals in India expanding on the differences between chemical and biologic drugs, the categories of biopharmaceutical drugs, and the complex production processes that are undergone before these drugs can be kept on store shelves.
As the director of the biologics department at US Pharmacopia, Dr. Menon is also a storehouse of information when it comes to placements as she is greatly involved in the selection process for the company. Following her stimulating presentation, she expressed the importance of being fluent in what we may consider to be most simple of tasks because the understanding of these essential concepts is what employers are searching for. In Dr. Menon’s own words, “It doesn’t matter if you know molecular biology – we look for a strong knowledge in the basics.”
In a two hour time frame, Dr. Menon brilliantly presented to us the general concept behind biologics in nutshell and provided us with a few excellent pointers on how to face our future placement interviews.
March 08, 2014
School of Biotechnology, Amritapuri