The USA-India Chamber of Commerce (USAIC) hosted a ‘Chairman To Chairman’ Fireside Chat between Biocon Executive Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Amgen Chairman & CEO Bob Bradway during its 15th annual BioPharma Summit (Virtual). The one-on-one discussion covered a host of topics, including the biopharma industry’s response to COVID-19, accelerated adoption of digital technologies, and topics related to how biopharma innovation can benefit patients’ lives globally.

During the conversation, Ms Mazumdar-Shaw and Mr Bradway discussed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of Amgen’s LUMAKRAS (sotorasib) as the first treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with a particular genetic mutation called KRAS G12C, which was once considered an “undruggable” target. The conversation provided interesting insights into how biopharma companies push the boundaries of biotechnology to develop breakthroughs for patients who are suffering from serious diseases.

Mr Bradway spoke about key monoclonal antibody therapies and other bispecific, T-cell engaging therapies that Amgen is developing as targeted therapies for treating several chronic diseases. Ms Mazumdar-Shaw asked Mr Bradway about the possibility of Amgen doing clinical trials for some of these breakthrough therapies in India and he confirmed that the U.S.-based biotechnology pioneer was looking at global registration of these key clinical trials.

The leaders discussed how scientific advances have enabled the development and deployment of several vaccines against COVID19 at extraordinary speed. The learnings from this extraordinary accomplishment now need to be applied in other disease areas and in accelerating drug discovery and development processes going forward, they concluded.

The increasing use of digital technologies in drug innovation and clinical development, as well as, the emergence of digital therapeutics also came up for discussion. Both leaders expressed the belief that bringing together digital technology and biotechnology could unlock huge opportunities in discovering next-generation healthcare solutions. The leaders also discussed some of the exciting research ongoing in some of the world’s leading academic institutions, which are applying modern machine learning methods, such as deep learning, to very large data sets for deriving biological insights that could lead to breakthroughs in patient care.

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