Obituary – Hyderabad-based biotechnologist Dr B S Bajaj passes away at 93

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Dr. B.S. Bajaj (DoB: 19/9/1927), founder of Federation of Asian Biotech Associations (FABA), which organizes BioAsia, a  prestigious global Bio Business Forum held every year in Hyderabad in association with the Government of Telangana, passed away on 28th July, 2020.

Dr. B. S. Bajaj, MSc; PhD; FPSI was the Founder and Chairman – All India Biotech Association-Southern Chapter (AIBA-SC), Founder and Secretary General – Federation of Asian Biotech Associations (FABA), and former member, AP Govt. Biotech Advisory Council, former member of Board of Directors of NATCO Pharma Ltd, Pacific Hospital (Pvt) Ltd, Otira Pharmaceuticals Private Ltd., and Transcell Biologics (Pvt) Ltd, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and National Committee on Biotechnology.

Dr. B.S. Bajaj had served as General Manager, IDPL, Rishikesh (1981-1985), Executive Director, Torrent Gujarat Biotech Ltd, Vadodara(1991-1998), Director, NATCO Pharma, Hyderabad (2002-2008). He was a member of SBTIC incubation center set up by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India in Genome valley and also served as a member of Scientific Advisory Committees of CSIR Laboratories. He was the Vice-Chairman of Export Promotion Forum in Biotechnology, Govt. of India. He had over 50 years of experience in R&D in the areas of pharmaceuticals and antibiotics in India.

Dr. Bajaj has made immense contribution in the growth of Pharma and Biotechnology industries in India. In 1980’s while working in Indian Drugs and Pharmaceutical Limited (IDPL) Rishikesh, Vidharbhaa, he played a key role in getting technology transfer for antibiotic research and manufacturing from different countries to Indian Pharma companies. With this technology transfer agreement, Indian Pharma companies could manufacture drugs at a much cheaper cost.

He was instrumental in expansion and modernization of IDPL, Rishikesh plant and setting up of grass-root highly automatic Penicillin G fermentation plant at Baroda, from design to commissioning and stabilization. He thus made significant contribution to make the Country self-sufficient from 80% import of domestic requirements to surplus availability from indigenous sources, together with some other Units. In the academic front, he had a strong R&D experience, had published more than 75 scientific publications and guided several students for post-graduate and PhD Degrees.

He had spent more than a decade in creating global bio-business and Pharma platforms and forums to drive investments into these sectors in India. Under the fold of FABA and BioAsia Dr. Bajaj boosted bio-economy in India, particularly to the state of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh and the present Telangana.

Through his superior leadership and exceptional professionalism, he had been able to efficiently conduct several bio-partnering meetings involving prestigious multinational companies (MNCs) leading to millions of dollars of investments in India. He played a key role in bringing biotech policy for the state of earlier Andhra Pradesh and recommended the same to Government of India.

Several memoranda of understanding (MOUs) had been signed with the international organizations like BioCat of Spain, Catalonia Government, European Federation of Biotechnology, Russian Biotechnology Society, Association of German Biotech Companies (VBU), Bio-industry Park Canavese, Italy to bring together industry in all these countries with India. His most distinguished achievement has been bringing 20 Asian countries under the fold of Federation of Asian Biotech Associations and help in bilateral agreements for export of medicines.

Dr.Bajaj had worked with the local Government in bringing biotech cluster under one roof called “Genome Valley”. Today Genome Valley is the most successful bio-cluster in the country with 300+ Pharma and Biotech companies- major, small and medium range including start-up companies. The Genome Valley has prestigious companies like Bharath Biotech and Biological E- Limited producing vaccines; Novartis, Vimta Lab and others. I consider this was the most notable achievement of Dr. Bajaj.

Dr. Bajaj ensured industry-academia interface and helped formulate the first biotech policy of Telangana that paved the way for the growth of Genome Valley and BioAsia as an annual event to showcase it. He has spent more than a decade in creating global bio-business and Pharma platforms and form to drive investments into these sectors in India. Through superior leadership and exceptional commitment and professionalism, he had been able to efficiently conduct several bio-partnering meetings involving prestigious MNCs leading to millions of dollars of investments into India. Dr. Bajaj has given to India and the world, BioAsia, to boost bio-economy globally.

BioAsia also provided the platform to recognise the services rendered by distinguished scientists to the field of Biotechnology through “Genome Valley Excellence Awards”, and FABA Special Award”, for young scientists in the form of “BioAsia Innovation Awards” and students with “Young Minds Awards”. Some of these awardees include Nobel Laureates and other distinguished scientists around the world. Some of these include Dr. MK Bhan, Prof. E. Premkumar Reddy, Prof. G. Padmanabhan, Prof. Guntaka V Rama Reddy etc.

Dr. Bajaj had bestowed with several awards which include, BioAsia 2008 Award, Maryland India Business Roundtable (MIBRT), Inc., U.S.A bestowed him with an award for “Global leadership, commitment, vision and efforts to promote Biotechnology and Life Sciences for the last 50 years and for organizing BioAsia conferences” and Government of Catalonia (Spain) felicitation for fostering partnership between Andhra Pradesh and Catalonia, State of Spain, in Biotechnology on February 3, 2010, during BioAsia by presenting a Gold Plate with citation and a letter of appreciation from the Vice President of Catalonia Government. During BioAsia 2019, the Global Bio Business Forum, Dr. Bajaj was awarded with the FABA Lifetime Achievement Award for his significant contribution in the growth of biotechnology in India.

Another dream project of Dr. Bajaj was FABA Academy, which he witnessed its launching on 19th Feb, 2020 during BioAsia 2020. FABA Academy forms a bridge between the Academy and Industry in human resources development. The focus is on skill development among the science graduates and post graduates so as to make them industry-ready. The EC members of FABA and the Advisory committee of FABA Academy are highly indebted to Dr. Bajaj for conceptualizing a forum that enables the academy and industry together and for providing a global platform to promote Parma and Biotech industry in the form of BioAsia.

Prof. P Reddanna
Executive President,
Federation of Asian Biotech Association (FABA)
FABA website: http://biofaba.org/

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