Category — Biotechnology

India’s Parry Nutraceuticals Gets USFDA Approval

Based in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu, Parry Nutraceuticals received the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for its India facility for organic micro-algae cultivation and processing.

Business head, Parry Nutraceuticals, Muthu Murugappan said that some of the products that they planned to bring to market over the next two years include Organic Chlorella, Spirulina Granules, CO2 Extracted Lutein and Algal Beta Glucan. New areas currently under development include vegan algal proteins, chlorophyll and algae  omega-3s, reports Outlook.

Parry Nutraceuticals Logo

Valensa International, based in Florida, which specializes in the development of condition-specific nutraceuticals such as joint, eye and cardio-vascular health issues, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Parry.

June 5, 2017   No Comments

Microgrids from IIT Madras Win IEEE award

India’s  IIT Madras, bagged the 2017 IEEE Spectrum Technology in the Service of Society Award for “having the most promising potential to provide the greatest overall benefit to humankind.”

IEE’s website mentioned that  micro grids designed at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras can serve as the sole source of electricity to homes not connected to the grid. And they can serve as a backup power supply to homes connected to it, to let lighting and essential appliances continue operating even during brownouts. In India, micro grids are expected to evolve rapidly.

Solar DC Inverterless

The Economic Times reports that the table-sized rooftop plant is a Solar-DC Inverterless system that is cost and energy-efficient. The system is fully equipped with DC wiring, and does not convert direct current produced by a solar installation into alternate current, since each time a unit of AC is converted into DC, there is a 15 percent loss of energy. A DC system is 2.5 times more efficient than the AC system and hence requires lesser space, said IIT-M professor Ashok Jhunjhunwala. The professor added that the solar-DC microgrid will help break the logjam that the domestic power supply currently faces in India.

May 27, 2017   No Comments

India Extends Benefits to Startups

The Government of India has broadened the definition of a startup by saying that a business not older than seven years will qualify for benefits such as reduction in patent application fee and a tax holiday, under the startup India program. In the case of startups in the biotechnology sector, the period shall be up to 10 years, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a notification. “An entity shall cease to be a startup on completion of seven years from the date of its incorporation/registration, or if its turnover for any previous year exceeds $3.5 million.”

In order for a startup to avail of tax benefits it should be “working towards innovation, development or improvement of products or processes or services, or should be following a scalable business model with a high potential of employment generation or wealth creation.” Any entity formed by splitting up or by the reconstruction of a business already in existence will not be considered a startup, reports VCCircle.

Planning in a startup

“The changes are an effort to ensure ease of starting up new businesses to promote the startup ecosystem and build a nation of job creators instead of job seekers,” the government said.

The process of recognition as a startup will be through an online application made over the mobile app/portal set up by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion. Startups will no longer require a letter of recommendation from an incubator or an industry association for either recognition or tax benefits.

May 26, 2017   No Comments

MIT Grads Provide Biodegradable Sanitary Pads to Rural India

A startup, Saathi (meaning ‘companion’ in Hindi), founded by three graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a graduate from Nirma University in India, is hoping to improve access and waste disposal of sanitary pads for women in rural India.

275,000,000 women in India cannot access pads because they are too expensive (also scarcely available, and difficult to discard). “Only 16 percent of women have access to sanitary pads in India,” Kristin Kagetsu, co-founder and CEO of the company told NBC News during an interview at the company’s production facility, located outside Ahmedabad, in India’s western state of Gujarat.

The sanitary napkins are eco-friendly: they are made from locally-sourced banana fiber, which is highly absorbent and biodegradable; it doesn’t have to be burned when disposed, thus helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Banana Fibers

Fibers from the banana tree

Saathi is one of the finalists in the Health and Wearable Technologies category at SXSW, Austin, Texas. It is looking  funding this project, and according to its website, $12,737 have been raised toward a target of $20,000.

April 19, 2017   No Comments

India Caps Prices on Coronary Stents Triggering Debates

After including drug eluting stents and bare metal stents in the National List of Essential Medicines in July last year, the government of India added them to the Schedule I of the Drug Prices Control Order, 2013, last December, and brought the devices under price control.

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has capped a drug eluting stent at $458 and a bare metal stent at $112.  All stent manufacturers as well as importers will now have to price their products below the notified ceiling price.

Since hospitals also function as retailers of stents they will also be required to display the prices prominently in the hospital premises, per the Drug Price Control Order 2013, reports BusinessLine.

Sahajanand Medical Technologies Stent

Sahajanand Medical Technologies Stent

Health groups, such as the Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare, expressed satisfaction with the decision. “After months of consultations, we welcome the strong and determined action of the government, particularly in the face of a concerted campaign by industry and profit-oriented hospitals to prevent any form of effective price control,” said Malini Aisola of the All India Drug Action Network.

The Medical Technology Association of India expressed disappointment with the decision saying the “move will reduce the options available for the Indian patient for their specific medical condition or deprive them the satisfaction of choosing from the most advanced and cutting edge technologies.” The Association asked for a 45-day transition time for implementing the price change.

 

April 11, 2017   No Comments