Pharma Focus Asia

APAC’s Biopharma Providers’ Role in Pioneering a Healthcare Revolution

Narayana Rao, Vice President and General Manager, Asia Middle-East Africa, Avantor (AMEA), Avantor

Biopharma providers play a pivotal role in shaping APAC’s health landscape. The surge in NCDs, vaccine production and distribution, and ageing population drive the need for drug discovery and development. However, this is resource-intensive, lengthy, and costly for biopharma companies racing against time to meet these challenges. Therefore, it is crucial for biopharma providers to serve as a backbone for our healthcare industry, supporting drug development and delivery to meet the growing healthcare needs.

Asia's healthcare landscape is undergoing a transformative journey, grappling with profound challenges in changing demographics, persistent health inequities, and the rising burden of increased disease prevalence. These factors coupled with the region’s diverse socio-economic landscape and varying healthcare infrastructures, cast a long shadow on accessibility to quality healthcare, even as technological and healthcare advancements emerge at a rapid pace.  

Understanding Asia’s Biopharma Market

The Asia biopharma industry offers solutions that not only enhance healthcare outcomes but also contribute to the broader socio-economic advancement of the region by harnessing cutting-edge research, innovative technologies, and collaborative partnerships. As companies work to accelerate drug discovery and development, they hold the promise of bringing new health opportunities that positively impact the lives of patients in the region and beyond.

As Asia solidifies its position as a biopharma hub, the region now plays a pivotal role in advancing medical research, production, and distribution. Key challenges such as supply chain disruptions stemming from the global pandemic and geopolitical risks have underscored the importance of supply chain resilience as well as the need for stronger local and regional capabilities. In the face of intricate regulatory landscapes, biopharma suppliers such as Avantor play a key role in partnering with customers to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

To effectively support customers, biopharma suppliers must have a strong grasp of the industry’s dynamics, customer needs, and recognise the potential for partnerships. Only through this understanding, can biopharma suppliers assist customers in adeptly navigating cultural nuances, fostering innovation and actively contributing to the growth of the biopharma sector in the diverse and dynamic Asian market.  

Vital Role of Biopharma Suppliers in Asia

Biopharma suppliers offer a wide range of solutions, products, and services, encompassing chemicals, laboratory equipment, and cutting-edge technologies. These offerings are essential for driving research and development in medical and academic research institutions and biopharma companies, and provide knowledge, resources, and expertise to advance scientific discoveries and drug development and enhance medical diagnostics in Asia.

Furthermore, leveraging their proven portfolio, biopharma suppliers can develop agile and customisable solutions to facilitate seamless laboratory processes and optimise workflow efficiency. With expertise in productivity-enhancing technology, global manufacturing and distribution capabilities, biopharma suppliers play a critical role in empowering Asia's biopharma sector to meet the growing needs of the region for drug discovery.

Biopharma suppliers also support their customers in ensuring the compliance of their manufacturing and distribution facilities with current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) standards. This commitment to quality enables them to enhance support to the biopharma industry by offering services such as packaging, subdividing, and providing cGMP-compliant storage solutions. The establishment of regional hubs in strategic locations, like Singapore, positions these providers to effectively and expediently meet the requirements of their customers in Asia.

Fostering Collaboration and Driving Innovation

The impact of biopharma suppliers in Asia extends beyond scientific progress and also supports technological innovation, public health and contributes to economic growth. The help and collaboration biopharma suppliers provide to scientists can result in the development of tailored treatments and therapies that can positively impact millions of lives. These innovations in turn can benefit Asia’s biopharma industry by fostering collaboration and attracting future investment.

However, biopharma suppliers and their customers can't work in isolation. Engaging in partnerships across sectors, including government bodies, healthcare institutions, researchers, NGOs, and MNCs, brings together expertise, resources, and perspectives to drive scientific advancements. This collaborative approach accelerates innovation, ensures regulatory compliance, and strengthens supply chains.


Asia's biopharma market is undergoing significant changes, shaped by challenges and opportunities that underscore the importance of healthcare access, supply chain resilience, and innovation. At the heart of this transformation are the vital roles played by biopharma companies and their suppliers, ensuring access to critical raw materials, navigating complex regulatory requirements, and fostering collaborations across diverse stakeholders.

The commitment of the biopharma suppliers to innovation, adherence to quality, and dedication to collaboration positions them as catalysts for the success of the industry. As Asia continues to advance as an important biopharma hub to meet public health challenges, suppliers will stand as essential partners, continuing to play a key role in the ecosystem drive growth, and enable innovation to meet the growing biopharma needs of the region.

Narayana Rao

Narayana is responsible for leading the overall business, P&L, strategy, and program management for Avantor’s Biopharma Business Unit in AMEA. He possesses close to two decades of comprehensive experience in international markets, leading diverse teams in account, product, sales and business management, and delivering strategic solutions for Consumables, systems and Instruments in Academic, Pharmaceuticals, Bioprocessing, and Bioresearch Industries.

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