“It is a 21 days festival of learning, you will learn not only about new things but also start thinking anew. Don’t be curious about the speakers, be curious about the ideas”, said Prof. B J Rao, Vice-Chancellor, University of Hyderabad (UoH) while addressing the audience during the inauguration ceremony as Chief Guest of the “Drug Discovery and Development Workshop 2022”.

15th March 2022 marked the start of the 21 days virtual workshop on drug discovery and development conducted by the Federation of Asian Biotech Associations (FABA) in collaboration with the Science Gurus and the University of Hyderabad. Prof Reddanna (Executive President, FABA) opened the workshop with a welcome address which was followed by brief insights into FABA and FABA Academy by Dr. P. Ratnakar (Secretary-General, FABA).  Dr. Jagath Reddy Junutula (Board Chairman, Science Gurus), walked the participants through the entire course structure emphasizing how every component of this workshop is carefully curated to take the participants through the entire process of the drug discovery, preclinical development, drug manufacturing, and clinical and regulatory aspects. Altogether there are around 40 resource persons from various academic institutions in India and abroad. The workshop is being attended by around 80 participants from academia and industry, not only from India but also from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran and Nigeria.

Prof B J Rao provided a brief overview of the drug discovery and development process which set a perfect tone for this workshop. He highlighted that “Biology is not a deterministic science, it is a non-deterministic, probabilistic science unlike hard Physics or Chemistry. It is rather a mystery how these drugs make their way through the noisy biological pathways and work! And hence, this phenomenon poses a perfect opportunity to demystify the process”. He encouraged all the participants to make the most of this opportunity and “imbibe as much as possible”.

 This year the organizing committee added the hands-on sessions to train the students on how to apply the theoretical knowledge to practical applications. This workshop is an information packed resource which will also focus on emerging trends in drug discovery and development, imparting knowledge about intellectual property rights, diving into success stories of Pharma and Biotech start-ups while throwing light on the modes of securing funding by the industries involved in drug discovery and development. These aspects would help students understand this industry and pave a path for building their career in this domain. 

With an enthusiasm to get started with the workshop, the inauguration ceremony ended with a vote of thanks by Dr. A Bindhu Madhava Reddy, Assistant Professor, School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad.