BIRAC invites research proposals in the areas of vaccines, biotherapeutics, medical devices & diagnostics

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The Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) has invited research proposals from biotech companies in the areas of vaccines, biotherapeutics, medical devices & diagnostics under the National Biopharma Mission, which is an industry-academia collaborative mission for accelerating discovery research to early development for biopharmaceuticals named Innovate in India (I3). I3 is a mission of Department of Biotechnology (DBT) in collaboration with World Bank which will be implemented by BIRAC.

In the area of vaccine, the focus of this program will be on support for accelerating development of novel vaccine candidates for HPV, dengue and pneumococcal; and novel and complex vaccine candidates for other diseases of high burden and priority in India. In the area of biotherapeutics, the thrust will be on support for development of biosimilars (therapeutic proteins and monoclonal antibodies) for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. Besides, the program will focus on support for establishment of process development laboratory, CMC facility, GLP validation facility and cell line repository. In the areas of medical devices & diagnostics, the focus of this programme will be on support for accelerating development of critical medical device technologies for relevant product segments, and core technologies as platform technologies for priority products.

The aim of the mission is to enable and nurture an ecosystem for preparing India’s technological and product development capabilities in biopharmaceutical to a level that will be globally competitive over the next decade, and transform the health standards of India’s population through affordable product development. The program will specifically focus on the development of new vaccines, bio-therapeutics, diagnostics and medical devices to address the rising burden of diseases in the country.

It will also bring isolated centers of excellence together, enhance regional capabilities and strengthen the current bio-clusters network in terms of capacities as well as quantity and quality of output. Focusing on product development, the Mission will strengthen and create shared infrastructure for product development and validation of Centre of Excellences for knowledge generation and skill development for technology strengths and technology management. This mission will develop platform technologies for product validation, link institutions to strengthen clinical trial networks, promote partial de-risking for novel products, and build capacities in emerging areas such as translational bioinformatics, bioethics etc. This will be a great platform which will offer buoyancy as well as universal support to biotechnological innovation, and transform India into a global hub for cutting-edge biotechnology research and development.

The programme will help deliver 6-10 new products in the next five years, create several dedicated facilities for next-generation skills, and hundreds of jobs in the process. It intends to collectively fill the missing link between the discovery and development and bring together private sector, Government and academia which we can call triple helix of medical innovation which can spur further development. The initial focus will be on Vaccines for HPV, Dengue and biosimilars for cancer, diabetics and rheumatoid arthritis and medical devices and diagnostics.

It promises to boost the growth curve for domestic biopharma in India by accelerating the translation of research concepts into viable products, enabling sustainable networks for collaboration between industry and academia, and supporting entrepreneurial ecosystem amongst many others. The program has a great potential to take it further & move the idea of Make in India to Innovate in India.

The aim of the National Biopharma Mission is to enable and nurture an ecosystem for preparing India’s technological and product development capabilities in biopharmaceuticals to a level that will be globally competitive over the next decade, and transform the health standards of India’s population through affordable product development

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