DBT to begin research in area of “Repurposing of Drugs for Infectious Diseases’

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To promote research and intensify activities in infectious disease biology, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) will soon begin research in the area of infectious disease biology for their evaluation and converting them into potential research programs to address issues in the area of ‘Repurposing of Drugs’.

The specific objective of this programme, for which the DBT has invited Letter of Intent (LoI) from eligible scientists by July 31, 2017, is to promote pre-clinical and clinical proof of concept studies for the potential application of approved drugs aiming at discovering new therapeutic uses for agents whose clinical safety has already been documented to move quickly into proof-of-concept trials in selected disease patient population.

The priority diseases and causative agents for this research programme included dengue, chikungunya, H1N1 influenza, HIV, HBV, HCV, HEV, JEV (Viral); Mtb, MRSA, Salmonella, Streptococcus (Bacterial); Leishmania, Plasmodium, Leptospira (Parasitic); and Aspergillus, Candida (Fungal). A team of basic scientists, clinical researchers, and pharmacologists with necessary skills and expertise and established assay systems required to carry out the proposed research are invited to submit the LoI through their institution/organization.

The LoIs submitted under this grant announcement may be based on hypothesis/novel ideas stemming from consolidated previous clinical/basic research experience and must be clearly endowed with a strong translational research orientation. In order to achieve this goal, necessary expertise and methods should be brought together from basic researchers, clinicians, pharmacologists, and the proposals could be inter-disciplinary/inter-institutional.

The LoIs must clearly demonstrate novelty in the background of existing knowledge; intent and rationale; availability of a robust assay systems with high reproducibility to test the efficacy of the drugs; requisite infrastructure to carry out the proposed investigation; collaboration between clinicians, pharmacologists and basic science researchers; and outcomes and deliverables.

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