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CSIR Lab To Develop New TB Drug

The Institute of Microbial Technology, a constituent laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has identified two new molecules against tuberculosis and has joined hands with a private drug company for their further development.

Initial studies have shown promise of more effective and safe oral-based treatment regime to tackle all types of tuberculosis including multi-drug and extensively drug resistant forms, Dr Anil Koul, director of the Chandigarh-based laboratory, told newsmen on Wednesday. 

For further development of the new molecule, the CSIR lab will work with Johnson & Johnson. The agreement signed on Wednesday also covers two additional molecules developed by J&J for which the CSIR lab will collaborate with the drug company.

For all the four new molecules, preliminary studies have indicated they could be put together to develop a new drug regime for the disease. An agreement has been signed to explore validity of initial findings. “While we will provide microbiology and medicinal chemistry expertise, the company will provide preclinical resources and drug development support,” he added.

Asked about aspects such as funding pattern for the project, Dr. Koul said all details like milestones, actual working relationships and costs are being worked. He added that other research institutions working in the area of TB were welcome to contribute to the programme. “We are interested in finding a lasting solution to the TB problem. All assistance is welcome.”

“India can move forward on the path of innovation and development and leverage its efforts through creating and strengthening desired partnership with industry in the domain of health research,” commented Dr Harsh Vardhan, minister for science and technology. (India Science Wire)

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