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BIRAC invites research proposals on COVID-19 therapeutics

Neethikrishna, Mumbai
Saturday, October 24, 2020, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), under the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), has invited research proposals on COVID-19 therapeutics.

The scope of this call is to address a rapid response towards the current COVID-19 outbreak that is relevant for “clinical ready”-assets including approved therapies or compounds in development, which could be repurposed for use in treating patients with the coronavirus.

Identification of new potential assets and approaches that could be utilised including preventive strategies and combination approaches and could also address potential resistance. This may also include optimisation of promising treatments used in rapid response.

Under this call, the researchers are focused on novel molecules, drug repurposing (but not limited to- antivirals, anthelmintic, antimalaria, anti-Inflammatory, immunomodulatory, anti-RA, anti-hypertensive, anti-coagulants, H2- blockers, protease inhibitors, etc.), combination therapy for synergistic effects and biologics like neutralizing antibody therapy, hyperimmune globulin, immunomodulators, recombinant proteins, novel mabs and repurposed mabs –(example tocilizumab).

Other areas of research include cell-based products and gene therapy products, stem cells such as Umbilical Cord-Derived Mesenchymal stem cells (UCMSC), Wharton's jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells (WJMSC), Bone Marrow Mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSC), exosomes and other novel drug delivery systems.

The proposals must address both efficacy and toxicity aspects of the therapeutic approach. Involving human clinical trials must describe current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) production, toxicity testing and scalability of the therapeutic product as per drug manufacturing regulations and will require approval from Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO).

A single or consortia company (start up, small, medium or Large) incorporated under the Companies Act, 2013 having a minimum of 51 per cent of the shares of the Company to be held by Indian Citizens and Academia (Public or Private Research Institute, University) having a well-established support system for research are eligible for the proposals.

The last date for submission of proposals is October 30, 2020.


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