Tuesday, March 4, 2008

K.O. Isaac

"India could decide the cost of drug discovery in the future. Today, the cost of drug discovery (for example, finding a new cure for diabetes) is about $1 billion, and it takes 10 to 15 years. India offers a cost arbitrage and also a variety of genotypes for a more economical and effective drug discovery. More importantly, India offers very large opportunities with its biodiversity as sources for discovery of drugs."

K.O. Isaac, MD, ABL Biotechnologies

March 4, over lunch


Murali said...

About the company...

ABL Biotechnologies Limited (ABL), a Chennai based listed company was incorporated in 1992 and is focused at healthcare and wellness. ABL’s strategy envisages harnessing natural microbial resources to find affordable solutions for the pharmaceutical, cosmeceutical, nutrition and industrial intermediates Industries.

ABL had in the year 2000, with the assistance of the Technology Development Board, Department of Biotechnology, successfully commercialized its first technology for production of bulk and formulated mixed carotenoids from a strain of marine blue green algae, D. salina. The Company is now is ready to commercialize two technologies. The first is for production of an essential omega 3 fatty acid called Docosa Hexanoic Acid (DHA). This technology has been developed using a unique mutant of a marine fungus. This would be the first DHA producing unit in the Country. The second technology is for production of a fluorescent blue pigment, called Phycocyanin. Phycocyanin can be used as a colourant by the food and cosmetics industry, as an anti-oxidant by the nutraceutical industry, as a pain and inflammation inhibitor by the therapeutics industry and as tracer by the diagnostics industry. This again would be the first manufacturing unit in India.

The Company’s Drug Discovery program aims at developing new drugs for anti cancer, anti infectives, anti virals and diabetes. The Company hopes to be able to file at least one IND application with the USFDA in the coming 3-5 years.

ABL is also working with leading research institutions to augment its Drug Discovery program. These include the Christian Medical College, Vellore, Shankar Nethralaya, Chennai, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Central University, Hyderabad, and the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

Apart form its R&D Division, ABL has two more divisions, one that markets ABL’s own brands of prescription products named Invia Health and the other offering formulated products to the pharmaceutical industry, named Spectrum.

Invia Health is presently catering to the markets in three states, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh and would soon be launching the products in Orissa, Goa and Karnataka.

Spectrum offers formulated products in a variety of formats ranging from soft gelatin, hard gelatin, tablets, powder sachets, injectibles and liquids. ABL offers these products through nine outsourced facilities to large, medium and small pharmaceutical companies. Some of the leading brands offered by Spectrum are Nervz B and Tretiva range for Intas Pharmaceuticals, Enew Plus for Zydus Cadilla, Calsum OS for JB Chemicals, and Omecard for Ajanta Pharma.

Thomas thomas@adroitpublicrelations.com

Murali said...




Period 1985 – 86
Name of the Company K.C.T.Bros (CS) Ltd., Calcutta
Position Executive Assistant to the Executive Vice President
Involved in new project development in biotechnology, co-ordination, planning, product and market development

Major Achievements
Part of core team for product and market development for five FMCG brands
Responsible for developing an operations research model for bridging production and quality problems with marketing requirements. Also introduced a critical path model for the production facility
Development and project planning for a multi-specie essential oil and oleoresin project for Bhutan
Interaction with leading laboratories worldwide for screening project concepts for commercial exploitation
Involved in developing corporate policy for biotechnology projects
Involved in trouble shooting for company and liaison with various state governments and distributors, nationwide.

Period 1986 – 89
Name of the Company K.C.T.Bros Ltd., Unnao, U.P
Position Operations Manager
Responsibilities included production, quality control and assurance, stores and inventory control, commercial and despatches, liaison with statutory bodies.

Major Achievements
Worked on continuous fermentation through immobilised yeast cells, influent and effluent treatment, new product development and strategic planning
Was instrumental in quelling severe labour unrest and enforcing discipline in the production plant
Created inventory policies and changed the inventory procurement methodology whereby value of stores was reduced to one third of original.
Instituted vendor development exercise and reduced costs of procurement
Designed and established from scratch a quality control laboratory for raw materials, goods in process and finished goods
Increased productivity of process lines by five times
Reduced rejection rates from 25% to 2.5%
Was involved in labour negotiations, domestic courts of enquiry and in welfare and industrial relations

Period January – July 1989
Name of the Company Ballarpur Industries Ltd, New Delhi
Position Seconded as Executive Officer to the Jt. Managing Director
Responsibilities included new project development in biotechnology, interaction with financial institutions, Government clearances and liaison, project planning and process development

Major Achievements
Involved in diverse projects such as Vitamin C, Hydrogen Peroxide, Spirulina, Bagasse based paper, packaging products, aquaculture, tissue culture, continuous fermentation, bioremediation, etc.
International sourcing and assessment of technologies, establishment of technology transfer protocols, selection of senior personnel, management of projects
Project Leader – Thapar Waterbase ltd., a Rs.45 crore integrated aquaculture project

Period 1989 – 1991
Name of the Company The Waterbase Ltd, Madras
Position Head – Operations
Responsibilities included identification of site, procurement of lands, induction of personnel, procurement of equipment, identification, selection and management of contractors, organising government clearances, co-ordination between international technology consultants, local engineering consultants and project execution team and trouble shooting.

Period 1991 – 1992
Name of the Company Aquastride
Position Executive Director
Responsibilities – Establishment of a multi-disciplinary consulting group in the area of Aquatic Biotechnology

Major Achievements
Recognition by United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation as well as Government of India and included in their referral list of consultants in Aquatic Biotechnology
Assisted over 30 corporates and over 150 entrepreneurs in establishing successful projects

Period 1992 onwards
Name of the Company ABL Biotechnologies Ltd. (earlier known as Aquastride Bio-tech Pvt. Ltd.)
Founder and Principal Promoter of the company

Principal Achievements
Spearheaded the establishment of a unique Research and Development effort in aquatic micro-organisms for biochemicals focussed at the Pharmaceutical, Nutrition, Cosmetic and Industrial intermediates markets. This facility is at present the only one in its area in the private sector to receive accredition to and recognition by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India.

ABL’s Microbial Metabolites Laboratory has candidate organisms and candidate compounds for DHA/EPA/ARA, fluorescent tracers and tags, antivirals and antifungals.
ABL has established strategic relationship with a number of research institutions for collaborative work on antiinfectives and anti-inflammatory products.
Oversaw the collection, domestication lab and field trials, process development and commercialisation of a local strain of the marine alga Dunaliella salina for the production of the provitamin-A, Betacarotene.
Steered the company in its transition from a private limited company to a public limited company with an initial public offering of Rs.3.15 crores.
Established for the first time in the country a national franchise and marketing network of rural industrial supermarkets specific to the aquaculture industry called – The Aquashop, spread over the coastline of India. Was also principally involved in creating brand consciousness and equity for both the Aquashop and around 150 products introduced.
Have presented papers and delivered lectures to various fora.
Keen interest in intra industrial for a

Period 2000 May till 2003 September
Name of the Company Shantha Marine Biotechnologies Pvt. Ltd.
Principal Achievements
Successfully led the development team in transferring pilot scale technology from ABL to full commercial scale.
Inducted 150 people for the establishment of this unique project for the first time in India for production of natural carotenoids from an Indigenous strain of alga
Oversaw establishment of systems, protocols and methodologies for the operations and management of the company.
Established a niche market focus for all the company’s products by formulating and capsulating them and making them available for specific markets in India and the rest of the world.
Oversaw the development and establishment of technologies for culture and downstream processing of Spirulina and Astaxanthin.

Period 2003 September onwards
Name of the Company ABL Biotechnologies Ltd

Membership on various fora

Member of the Academic Senate for HRD education, Mangalore University

Member of the Board o Studies for Microbiology, University of Madras

Biotechnology Board, Kerala

Member of the Board o Studies for Herbal Science, University of Madras

Member of the Advisory Board, Institute of Entrepreneurship, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirapalli.

Founder member and Treasurer, Aquaculture Foundation of India.

Consultant and resource member of the biotechnology initiative by the Government of Tamilnadu, India.

Member of the Committee to frame the National Biotech Policy formed by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India

Papers Presented and Speaking Assignments

Paper on “Underwater Wealth” published by The Telegraph

Paper on “Wealth from the Seas” for the Tamilnadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore.

Paper on “Mariculture in India – An Opportunity as vast as the sea” for the Marine Biological Association of India, CMFRI, Cochin

Paper on “Indian Aquaculture Industry – Problem and Prospects” for the World Aquaculture Society

Paper on “Opportunities in the Marine Biotechnology” for the National Research Development Corporation’s publication.

Lead speaker and principal organizer of Aquatech Seminars on commercial applications of marine biotechnology

Resource speaker on round table for aquaculture industry organized by Industrial Development Bank of India, Hyderabad

Presentation on “Model for industry and research institution nexus” during a round table by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.

Key speaker on “Healthcare from marine biotechnology” at the convention of the Protein Food and Nutrition Development Association of India, UDCT, Bombay.

Chief guest and principal speaker on “Opportunities in Biotechnology”, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirapalli, Tamilnadu.

Guest speaker at the UGC Symposium on “Industry and Herbal Medicines” organized by Madras University, Chennai.

Resource speaker on “Opportunities from Oceans”, Tamilnadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore.

Speaker at the Guha Research Conference, Port Blair, Andamans on “The Indian Ocean – an Agenda for Conservation, Sustenance and Sustainability”.

Speaker at the Cornell University Biotechnology Seminar on “Opportunities in Marine Biotechnology” at Chennai.

Guest speaker to IIM – A on Technology Frontiers in Life Sciences, Healthcare, and Biotechnology: Vistas of New Opportunities and New Challenges.


The School of Management, Cochin University of Science & Technology
Masters in Business Administration – 1982 – 84

Major subjects : Marketing & Business Planning

St.Aloysius College, Mangalore, University of Mysore
Bachelor of Science – 1977-82

Major subjects : Chemistry, Botany and Zoology

Murali said...

Photo : Bijoy Ghosh (2006)