The Federation of Asian Biotech Association (FABA) Academy organized an outstanding Drug Discovery development 21 days’ Workshop 2023 collaborating with the University of Hyderabad and Science Gurus, BIRAC, and the World Trade Centre. This workshop showcased unparalleled intellect and innovation with huge success, featuring industry academic experts that paved the way for groundbreaking advancements in the field and Industry-Academia tie up a win-win for new drugs.

Drug Discovery Development workshop wrapped up with a valedictory function, which was held on 2nd April at the National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB), Hyderabad. Dr. Suresh Poosala, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Oncoseek Bio & Acasta Health, has welcomed the guests on behalf of FABA. Dr. Surya Sankuratri, Co-founder of Arona Global Sciences, Board member of Science Gurus, has introduced Science Gurus. Later, Dr. G Taru Sharma, Director of the National Institute of Animal Biotechnology, introduced the NIAB Hyderabad. Dr. A. Bindu Madhava Reddy from University of Hyderabad spoke about the highlights of the workshop and how the current participants benefited to improve their scientific knowledge and Eventually, Dr. Ratnakar Palakodeti, Vice President, Persistent Systems and Secretary General, FABA gave the vote of thanks. Eventually, the keynote lecture was delivered by Dr. Prem Kumar Reddy, Director of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York.


Dr. Reddy focused on the “Fundamental of targeted drug Discovery and Development” explaining how to advance a therapeutic candidate from bench to bedside and preclinical proof of concept by establishing activity, bioavailability, and associated effects in cancer-relevant models. He further discussed on lack of potential drug molecules and FDA rules & regulations and the flow of the percentage of drugs entering into clinical trials. He highlighted on costs involved and the validation process involved in drug development. He explained on Human kinome and its significance in cancer research. Dr. Reddy further elaborated on target selection, validation, and lead discovery lead optimization followed by preclinical evaluation, phase 1, phase 2, and phase 3, and experimental evidence on potent inhibitors of BCR-ABL, FLT3, and Src Kinases in Cancer Research. He emphasized non-clinical toxicology, the development of biological products, and their regulatory consideration for clinical translation. He also shared the success stories of students and discussed cellular studies using RNA also on advanced techniques DNA-encoded Library Technology Affinity selection Mass spectrometry Technology. He also highlighted on the efficacy of orally administering and the significance of Artificial Machine learning in cancer research, Preclinical evaluation by efficacious dose, Xenograft Models, and other models involved in the process. Dr. Reddy also suggested filling the gap between Academia and Pharma in focus on the right target, tissue, safety, and patient with commercial potential in the identification of new targets, novel validation methods CRISPR, and novel targeting approaches (PROTACs). Finally, he concludes the keynote by addressing the current progress in cancer drug development and suggested key steps to start a biotech company. A strong collaboration between academia and pharma industry is a win-win situation as strengths of each can be combined to develop a cost-effective drug.

Following, the significant panel discussion has been done with Moderator Dr. Uday Saxena, Co-founder, of  Reagene Innovations & Executive Secretary, of FABA, and panelists, Dr. Vijay Pal Singh, Veterinarian & Assistant Professor, AcSIR, Consultant, World Health Organisation, who stressed the point that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) regulatory guidelines going to change soon in favor of people. However, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) will also show a positive change within some time frame, maybe in a year.

Dr. Manish Diwan (online), Head, of Strategic Partnership, BIRAC, India, emphasized how drug discovery and leading to the identification of chemical candidates to developing a way to clinical trial. Importantly addressed those newer models of risk capital coming up from biopharma who are well versed in the industry now risking their money into the business or startups as venture capitalists. Also pointed out that the initially government has funded biotech startups from preclinical to clinical trials and has more schemes now to take ideas to way forward.


Dr. C.S.N Murthy, Chief Executive Officer-Satya Pharma Innovations, highlighted that overall, in India only a few startup companies are successful. Investor point of view, it is time for the joint shoulder of the CEO and required together to generate value in the biotech startup ecosystem. Overall, a mature business mindset and new skill need to develop which is lacking in India. Further, discussed the role of Artificial Intelligence as an integral and very evident enhancement in silico medicine, and nanomolar contribution to target discovery. The background that happened, is to discover new molecules in India and sustainable development keeping in focus ecosystem & startups.

Following, Dr. Suresh Poosala, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Oncoseek Bio & Acasta Health, discussed that the key challenge is the University and Academia do not offer a course on creating transgenic models in India even today and how transgenic model (Humanised mice) is important to understand the disease. Further discussed the quality of the model that can be provided to teach the Indian community and build the ecosystem, added further brighter future now as alternative models are there like steroids, organoids, 3D Bioprinting, micro physiological system and looking for new rules and regulation switch for quick.


Followed by Dr. Ratnakar Palakodeti- Vice President, of Persistent Systems, who discussed how and why he chose the value investment in the Startup and Academia and the battle passing on from Academia to Industry. He said that technology plays a novel role nowadays and needs to go to the next level for the unmet need of Academia and Industry collaboration. How digital health certificates including various stakeholders overlooking affected the new molecules for health- care.

Further Prof. Reddanna added a note in the discussion that the new government is pushing Academia to Industry collaboration, and fills the gap for the unmet need to bring in order to innovate biomedical research/drug discovery to understand the disease. Further, changes in scenarios in Academia and Industry to move forward, and need to go to the next level by giving some examples and sharing experiences.

Later, Mr. Prasant Bhavar- founder, VeGen Therapeutics discussed that we need to look out for various funding, Science, and commercial approaches to raise the fund. Also, how to plan to mitigate this risk that comes high reward business and awareness of risk journey.

Finally, Dr. Uday Saxena, concluded the panel discussion by adding Dr. Ajith’s points that to ensure the target they are working on, should be close to clinical also pharma should support startups financially and have an understanding of what the industry requirement.

Three weeks Drug Discovery Development workshop was attended by nearly 91 participants from different countries, including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Vietnam, Nigeria, and Iran. Nearly 48 speaker experts from the Academy, Industry, and government agencies participated as resource persons and broadly covered the areas of topics has been covered i.e., Drug Discovery, Pre-clinical Development, Development and Formulation, Clinical Development, The Next Frontier, Emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Data sciences, Personalized Medicine and Drug Repurposing, Hands-on Training Modules by Computational Biology by Pine Biotech and Computational Structure-based Drug Design by Schrodinger and shared their insights and knowledge. The winners come from different countries and have diverse backgrounds in the field of medicine, pharmacology, and chemistry.

FABA has selected 11 participants for Awards based on their outstanding performance in the workshop. 1. Abhishek Kumar Sahu, M.Sc in Bioinformatics, Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology, India,2.Anuja Dilip Kamble, Doctoral Student at Savitribai Phule Pune University, India, 3.Dr. Prasadi De Silva, Senior Lecturer, Uva Wellassa University, Sri Lanka, 4. Dr Triveni AG, Assistant Professor, Gulbarga University, India, 5 Sarah Silas, Medical Laboratory Scientist, Gombe state Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory, Nigeria, 6.Utkarsh Singh, Graduate, SGTB Khalsa College, India, 7. Snehal Harshad Jahagirdar, BSc. Nutrition & Dietetics, MBA – Healthcare, Symbiosis Skills & Professional University, India, 8. Afira Waqar, Ph.D. fellow, Institute of Industrial Biotechnology, Government College University Lahore, Pakistan, 9. Tehrim Motiwala, Ph.D. Candidate, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, 10. Dr. Nilufar Yasmin, MD Resident, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Bangladesh, 11. Annapurna Vasagiri, MSc Medicinal Chemistry, Sri Venkateshwara University, India. Feedback from the participants regarding the workshop was extremely encouraging and positive with productive concepts.

Overall, the Drug Discovery and Development workshop was an outstanding learning opportunity to exchange innovative ideas and enhance their knowledge and skills. Attendees obtained valuable knowledge on the latest advancements in drug discovery and development through captivating lectures and innovative research by industry experts. Undoubtedly, this workshop has made a significant impact on the field and will continue to do so in the future.