Novartis Biotechnology Leadership Camp
An event that helps bring the pharmaceutical sector closer to students while building connections with universities and research labs. With 48 students selected out of over 1900 applicants nationwide, students from a wide variety of backgrounds came together in a 4-day interactive workshop that included talks, activities, networking sessions, programs and presentations. The talks were delivered by scientists, subject experts and higher officials of Novartis. The agenda covered topics from leadership development and career opportunities to learning about breakthrough medicines for unmet medical needs to understanding trends and challenges in the pharmaceutical sector.
This program enabled networking between students and scientists/subject experts/officials across all backgrounds and fields of study. Students were chosen from fields like healthcare, natural/basic sciences, finance, engineering, business administration, law (Intellectual Property Rights specialization) based on a 3-level selection process that involved screening based on academic profile and grades secured in recent higher education, online tests on English proficiency and aptitude and scores obtained in an essay writing competition, (topic: Problems associated with COVID-19 vaccine distribution in India, and proposals to combat them) designed by Novartis India. Students who met the above selection criteria were selected to attend the 4-day BioCamp.
Noteworthy was the case-study, that students were expected to work on, in completely randomized teams, within a period of 48 hours, followed by team presentations and an individual viva. The case-study was based on a novel therapy that was expected to treat familial hypercholesterolemia and the Novartis team designed the case-study to completely hinder ideas using routine launch strategies. The expensive nature of the therapy along with its novelty, ensured that launching and pricing the regimen is far from feasible and downright impractical for usage in India. The teams were then expected to design an appropriate launch strategy and pricing model to overcome its various limitations and be available for the general population of India, without severely affecting the company’s revenue.
The 8-member team which won the case-study presentation and individual viva included people from backgrounds such as engineering, statistics, pharmaceuticals, finance, healthcare and academia. The 48 participants were considered ‘National Finalists of BioCamp 2020-21’ and the winning team, ‘National Winners of BioCamp 2020-21’. The members of the winning team were each presented with certificates, a letter of appreciation, Amazon Kindle and books.
Venkat Abhiram Earny – National Winner of BioCamp 2020-21 (Team event)
PhD, Department of Microbiology,
Kasturba Medical College, Manipal
Manipal Academy of Higher Education