A round table “Science and Business Cooperation in Biotechnology and Biomedicine. Commercialization of National Innovative Development” organized with the support of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade was held on February 20 at the International Congress “Biotechnology: State of the Art and Perspectives”. Representatives of scientific research organizations, Russian pharmaceutical manufacturers and clusters, industry associations and venture funds discussed the issues related to the infrastructure for commercializing and implementation of R&D results in manufacturing. Oleg Korzinov, the Executive Director of Northern BioPharmCluster, made a presentation “NeuroNet: New Opportunities for Projects in NeuroPharma” and spoke about the prospects and challenges of the industry.
“The market of medicines for nervous system diseases treatment is a predecessor of NeuroPharma market, as it is mainly focused on symptomatic treatment. The teams working in NeuroPharma have a goal to be achieved by 2035, that is to find solutions to completely cure diseases of the nervous system by using gene and cell correction technologies,” said Oleg Korzinov. “At the same time, as early as within ten years, we expect to complete the clinical trials of innovative drug candidates to diagnose and treat Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, schizophrenia, anxiety and stroke. However, the implementation of these ambitious plans is impossible without adequate training of specialists. According to NeuroNet’s road map, by 2018-2020 in Russia it is expected to establish 10 NeuroNet centers linked to universities that will be involved in specialists education and training. Business accelerators will support the teams of inventors in launching startups and will promote projects to the international level.”
Russian government also has high expectations for the development of biomedical technology. Denis Manturov, the Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, emphasized the special importance of effective collaboration between science and businesses in manufacturing biopharmaceutical drugs and biomedical products, as an essential condition for the development of industry in general.
The experts noted that, today, the most attractive area for investment is biotech, since most of the investments in pharmaceuticals are related to this sector. The specialists discussed not only the opportunities, but also the challenges the industry is facing. This include the problems of the pricing system in Russia, which hinders the innovations, as well as the collaboration of businesses with scientific organizations. The participants of the round table pointed out that successful commercialization of Russian R&D results requires the “science and businesses to speak the same language.” Certainly, successful examples of such collaboration already exist, but they have not yet reached the scale sought both by developers and manufacturers.