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Feb 15, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 4)

Executive Interview: Reinhard Vogt, Sartorius Stedim Biotech

  • GEN You have spent a good deal of time working in Asia. Where do you see promising biotech opportunities in China and India?

    Reinhard Vogt: There is huge potential in vaccines, especially in China and India where today, a tremendous number of people still have no access to vaccinations. Also, the market for human-derived plasma fractionations is growing in these countries. In this area as well, we have invested in new technologies and innovative process solutions in strategic cooperation with Bayer Technology Services and ProMetic.

    In addition, investments in the development of monoclonal antibodies are made in Asia, mostly in India. Financially strong companies are investing in biotech in India, and this country also has skilled people who have been educated there and abroad in order to handle this challenge. It could well be that the next globally successful biotech company will come from India.

    I cannot see a similar development in China yet. I suppose global biotech companies are also careful with investments in China because of intellectual property issues.   

    Many countries in Asia are also building up capacities for contract manufacturing and research. Korea’s Celltrion, for instance, already has some of the largest contract manufacturing capacities in the world and plans to extend these capacity levels in the future.

    Also, smaller countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan are building up capacities for contract manufacturing. So this is certainly another area of growth potential and, again, specifically in the area of disposable technologies. 



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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