India: Zydus Allies With CSIR- Institute Of Microbial Technology (IMTECH) For Development Of New Drugs For Drug-Resistant Infectious Diseases

On July 05, 2018, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) - Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH), a premier microbial institute under the aegis of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, announced a collaborative research agreement with Zydus Cadila, an innovation-driven global healthcare group1.

The partnership primarily aims to identify novel drug candidates for treatment of drug-resistant infections like tuberculosis. For this project, scientists at IMTECH will utilize their expertise and scientific knowledge in microbiology while Zydus Cadila will provide its expertise in medicinal chemistry & pharmaceutical drug development with an aim to develop new drug combinations against drug-resistant pathogens which cause severe diseases in India and across the world. A positive outcome from such collaborative efforts could define the way drug discoveries will be carried out in future in India via public-private partnerships.

CSIR-IMTECH established in 1984, is a national center for excellence in microbial sciences. IMTECH's vision is to discover and develop translational products and new drugs to address key unmet medical needs. Zydus Cadila is a fully integrated, global healthcare provider, with strengths all along the pharmaceutical value chain. With a core competence in the field of healthcare, Zydus has successfully developed novel therapies that have provided people in India an access to new and hitherto unavailable drugs.

About AMR

Antimicrobial resistance is the ability of a microorganism (like bacteria, viruses, and some parasites) to stop an antimicrobial (such as antibiotics, antivirals and anti-malarial) from working against it. As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others2. AMR is a serious threat to global public health that requires action across all government sectors and society. Emergence of Multi drug-resistant (MDR)/extremely drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis is a big challenge in India and across several other countries in the world.

WHO's Global Antimicrobial Surveillance System has reported Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) among 500,000 people with suspected bacterial infections across several nations. The cost of health care for patients with resistant infections is higher than care for patients with non-resistant infections due to longer duration of illness, additional tests and use of more expensive drugs. Drug resistance is a global threat and India needs sustained research & development efforts to tackle this global scourge.

About IMTech3

The Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTech) is one of the 37 national laboratories, 6 units and 39 outreach centers of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research. The Institute's primary asset is a team of more than 55 highly motivated scientists. Most of them have several years of training in world renowned laboratories. These scientists have built strong peer credibility both in basic and application-oriented broad thematic areas of molecular biology and microbial genetics, cell biology and immunology, protein science and engineering, and fermentation technology and applied microbiology.

Footnotes

1. http://zyduscadila.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Press-release-IMTECH-ZYDUS-final.pdf

2. http://www.who.int/antimicrobial-resistance/en/

3. https://www.imtech.res.in/about/about-imtech

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