New Delhi, February 29,2024.

To encourage and support startups in India and help early-stage innovators advance on their journey, Pfizer has announced collaboration with the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research (NIPER), Ahmedabad. This collaboration will endeavour to support healthcare start-ups in turning their innovative ideas into market-ready solutions. The initiative is being supported by the Department of Pharmaceuticals and Niti Aayog and is being anchored by Social Alpha.

This partnership expands on the successful Pfizer INDovation initiative, through which 34 startups in India have already been supported through funding and incubation to bring their breakthroughs to market. Through this partnership with NIPER Ahmedabad, this initiative will follow a cohort-based approach with the aim of selecting 6 innovators pan-India, that will be incubated at NIPER Ahmedabad. Start-ups with a proof-of-concept that matches the set mandate will be selected for a one-year accelerator program. Each of these startups will receive incubation support in areas of product development, regulatory pathway, pre-clinical testing, tech transfer support through NIPER ecosystem and real-world clinical fitment check. They will also receive funding support of up to Rs. 25 lakhs each.

Together, Pfizer, NIPER Ahmedabad and Social Alpha will be looking for innovations at TRL levels 3 or higher in the areas of deep tech and artificial intelligence for predictive analysis, point-of-care testing, SaaS, informatics and wearables and track and trace solutions.

NIPER Ahmedabad is in the process of setting up a Centre of Excellence in Medical Device. This partnership will further help startups in this domain take advantage of the NIPER Ahmedabad innovation ecosystem in medical devices to advance in their journey towards commercialization.

Dr. Arunish Chawla, Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals said, “Encouraging indigenous innovation in healthcare is not merely a priority, but a responsibility shared by all who are a part of this ecosystem. Our support to this collaboration between Pfizer and NIPER-A highlights the potential of startups bringing innovations that can advance the delivery of healthcare in the country.”

Prof Shailendra Saraf, Director, NIPER- Ahmedabad, said, “NIPER-A has long been at the forefront of pharmaceutical research and education. We believe that innovation is vital to address today’s healthcare challenges and this collaboration can empower start-ups to drive transformative healthcare solutions. Collaboration with a leading pharmaceutical organisation like Pfizer will provide a boost for these innovative start-ups and their ideas.”

Meenakshi Nevatia, Managing Director, Pfizer Ltd., said, “Pfizer has been present in India since 1950 and today has one of the most comprehensive presences in the country through large scale manufacturing and state-of-the-art R&D operations.  Through the Pfizer INDovation platform, we are proud to have given wing to startups that are addressing important unmet needs in areas of Oncology, Digital Health, Devices and Diagnostics.  We sincerely thank Department of Pharmaceuticals for their support in facilitating the partnership with NIPER-Ahmedabad. We look forward to welcoming our latest cohort of startups to this program and being a part of their journey to success.”

Dr. Chintan Vaishnav, Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission, said, “India’s healthcare ecosystem will be enriched by new digital breakthroughs brought to the market by startups driven by young innovative minds. These innovations will help facilitate broader disease awareness, quicker diagnosis, and better patient outcomes, inching us closer to our goal of a healthier India.”

Dr. Kshama Kothari, Director – Health and Wellness, Social Alpha, said, “Social Alpha believes that contextual innovations can help improve screening, diagnosis and healthcare delivery, furthering progress made towards health equity. In this edition of INDovation, we will support start-ups through the steps of product development and pre-clinical testing.”