Dr. Koduru Varaprasad Reddy was born on 17th November 1948. He was born in an agriculture family hailing from Papireddy Palem village of Nellore district.He was the only child to his parents Late Mr Venkata Ramana Reddy and Mrs Shanthamma.
His academic qualifications include BSc from SV Univerity (1967), Engineering (Electronics & Communications) from Andhra University (1970), PGD in Computers from West Germany (1971) and MBA from Osmania University (1980).
He worked as research scientist for Defense Electronics Research Laboratories, Hyderabad from 1972-77 and then in APIDC (Andhra Pradesh Industrial Development Corporation) from 1977-85.
In 1985, he left government service to join Hyderabad Batteries Ltd and co-promote Sabnife Power Systems Ltd an Indo-Swedish joint venture for producing high technology defense batteries.
In 1992, he floated Shantha Biotechnics Pvt Ltd in Hyderabad for developing recombinant based vaccines and therapeutic proteins aimed at producing cost-effective drugs within the reach of common man. SHANVAC-B was the India’s first genetically engineered vaccine against Hepatitis-B that was launched in 1997. A therapeutic drug to treat cancer SHANFERON was launched in 2002. Both these inventions received National Technology Award in 1999 and 2003 respectively.
These inventions were followed by SHANKINASE (to fight blood clots), SHANPOIETIN (for anemic patients) and combination vaccines SHANTETRA and SHAN5. Shantha’s success led to bio-pharma revolution in India, bringing down critical drug prices drastically.
He won numerous awards till date including doctorate from SV University, Tirupathi and the prestigious Padma Bhushan award from Govt of India in 2005. His major interests include Telugu literature, carnatic music and veena.