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India promotes industry-academia biopharmaceutical R&D

by K. V. Venkatasubramanian, special to C&EN
June 12, 2017 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 95, ISSUE 24

India has approved the first-ever industry-academia partnership program to accelerate discovery research and enable development of products such as vaccines, biotherapeutics, and diagnostics. Called the Biopharma Mission, it is aimed at improving the health of India’s population through affordable product development, a goal in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government’s recently released National Health Policy. The new effort, which includes training a skilled workforce, is expected to enhance India’s technological and product development capabilities in the biopharmaceutical sector so it becomes globally competitive in the next 10–15 years, the government says in a statement. The program will aim to enhance technology transfer capabilities in the public and private sectors and enable start-ups and small and medium-size enterprises to build the capacity for sharing innovative research. The $250 million initiative, which includes $125 million in a loan from the World Bank, is expected to roll out by October. The Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council, a government enterprise under the Department of Biotechnology, will implement it. Renu Swarup, senior adviser at the department, says the mission “will facilitate translation of research leads from research institutes to product development.”

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