Rashmi H Barbhaiya

Managing Director, Advinus Therapeutics, India

Rashmi H Barbhaiya is a Pharmaceutical Executive with over 35 years of track record with a large pharma, a specialty pharma and an entrepreneurial stint that established a clinical stage startup company. He has a unique blend of management experience in Drug Discovery, Development and Life Cycle Management. He is one of the founders and was CEO and Managing Director of Advinus Therapeutics, a research-based pharma company located in Bangalore and Pune, India.

Dr Barbhaiya started his industrial pharmaceutical career in 1980 with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company where he spent 21 years. His last position before taking early retirement was Vice President in the Pharmaceutical Research Institute. The diversity of his background and experience has played a key role in rapid and successful discovery & development of a number of drugs for the treatment of a variety of diseases such as AIDS and other infectious diseases, cancer, depression, anxiety, hypertension, diabetes and mild to moderate pain, including migraine. In the infectious diseases area, he has played key roles in identifying or developing four antibacterial drugs and three anti-viral drugs to market.

In the year 2002, he returned to India to join Ranbaxy as the President of R&D and led a team of over 900 professionals involved in drug delivery and innovation-driven new drug research and development activities as well as R&D for developing value-added generic drugs. He is credited for attracting world-class experienced scientists from overseas and for enhancing an innovation-driven culture to create one of the leading pharmaceutical R&D organizations in India. He was one of the architects of the R&D alliance between Ranbaxy and GSK, the first of its kind for an Indian company.  He was also instrumental in establishing an alliance between Medicine for Malaria Venture (MMV) and Ranbaxy which culminated into introduction of a cost-effective life-saving drug for the treatment of malaria – a price tag of $ 2 for curing the disease. This is his contribution towards addressing affordability and accessibility of medicines.

He co-founded Advinus Therapeutics in 2005 and was its CEO and Managing Director till September 2015. The Company was founded with a unique business model involving value-creating drug discovery and growth-driven service organization focusing on pre- and early-clinical development. Advinus has established an impressive record of novel R&D alliances with large pharma that includes path-breaking ongoing alliance with Takeda. This innovation driven company was founded with equity of about $20 M and this 500 people strong company was profitable in its first decade of existence and his leadership. In summary, he has devoted his career and has a track record addressing two key issues affecting the pharma industry, i) affordability and accessibility of drugs and ii) productivity, timelines and above all, return on investment (ROI) for R&D. As an entrepreneur, he has developed novel R&D models focusing on polycentric and globally networked innovation for enhancing R&D productivity and de-risking drug discovery. 

He obtained his PhD degree in Clinical Pharmacology from the St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College, University of London. He continued his education through post-doctoral training at the University of Florida and University of Wisconsin. His scientific contributions have resulted in over 150 publications in peer reviewed journals. He has served on the Editorial Boards of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy as well as Biopharmaceutics and Drug Disposition journals. Dr Barbhaiya has received a number of awards for his contributions. Some of these include American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Fellow, AAPS Meritorious Manuscript Award, AAiPS Outstanding Achievement Award, Ranbaxy Award for Excellence in Pharmaceutical Research, India Life Sciences Person of the Year 2007 by Burrill & Company and BioSpectrum Entrepreneur of the Year 2010. Currently, he serves on SEC of Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), a Swiss-based not-for-profit organization. He also serves on the expert committee of Global Antimicrobial Research and Development Partnership (GARDP), a WHO and DNDi sponsored initiative.