CDRI Lucknow celebrates its 69th annual day, hosts talk by Cipla Founder, Dr Y K Hamied

"We are at the threshold of an Indian scientific revolution. This requires us to rethink, redesign and rebuilt our scientific base through appropriate technology” said Dr Y K Hamied while delivering the 45th Sir Mellanby oration

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New Delhi: CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI) celebrated its 69th Annual Day on the 17th of February, 2020. On this occasion, the prestigious 45th Sir Edward Mellanby Memorial Oration was delivered by Dr Y K Hamied, Chairman, Cipla.

The topic of his talk was “Science and Society”. In his oration he said, “India is regarded as the Pharmacy Capital of the World. The Indian pharma industry sales was valued at $ 33 billion in 2017 and is due to grow to $ 50 billion this year. Despite all this expansion and growth, healthcare is only guaranteed to 10% of the world’s population. One third do not have access to even basic medicines.”

Dr Hamied expressed his dismay over the divide between North and South, the developed and the developing world. In September 2016, a UN report on “Access to Medicines” gave a powerful message, “No one should suffer because they cannot afford medicines, diagnostics, medical devices or vaccines”. It also said “all countries should formulate their own national legislation on healthcare to suit the specific needs of their country.”

“I want to discuss pharma repurposing and repositioning, extending or modifying the use of drugs already in use. An example was the HIV/AIDS first, an affordable drug combination in 2001 from Cipla. This pioneering effort was based on the partnership of public-private enterprise,” added Dr Hamied.

Sharing his mantra for the future, he said: “We are at the threshold of an Indian scientific revolution. This requires us to rethink, redesign and rebuilt our scientific base through appropriate technology i.e. scientifically bound, relevant, adaptable to local needs and using available resources. This should ensure that we dream of an India, where every citizen can share a decent quality of life. We all are accountable to our future generations.”

Announcement of CDRI Awards-2020 for Excellence in Drug Research

The day also marked the announcement of prestigious CDRI Awards-2020 for Excellence in Drug Research. These awards will be conferred on CSIR’s Foundation Day in September this year. The prestigious CDRI Awards 2020 for Excellence in Drug Research in Chemical Sciences category has been awarded to Dr. Surajit Ghosh, Professor, IIT, Jodhpur. In Life Sciences category, award went to Dr. Bushra Ateeq, Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences & Bioengineering, IIT, Kanpur & Dr. Ravi Manjithaya, Faculty Fellow, JNCASR, Bengaluru

The Technoloy of the Year Award of Rupees Three lakh was conferred to Dr T Narendra and Dr Monika Sachdev and their research groups for their technology of “Standardized fraction enriched with N-012-0001 for the management of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)”.

Patent of the Year Award of Rupees Two lakh was conferred to Dr Ritu Truvedi, Dr PR Mishra, Dr Rakesh Maurya and their research teams for their US Patent, “Formulation for the Prevention and Treatment of Bone Related Disorders.” Academic Career Achievement Awards-2020 was also conferred to the research students in many categories.

CSIR-CDRI and Cipla Foundation to set up Center of Excellence for Affordable Therapeutics

Cipla Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of Cipla Ltd, and CDRI have expressed their intent for setting up a “Center of Excellence for Affordable Therapeutics”. In line with its consistent efforts to foster scientific learning and research, the Cipla Foundation will support this Center. The Center will also serve school students and teachers through a science outreach programme designed for the community.

This is a unique first of its kind initiative, supported through the corporate social responsibility arm of Cipla, a leading indigenous pharma company. This initiative is owing to recent provision of government for creating corporate funding under CSR in research for science, technology, engineering and medicine through clause IX of schedule VII of the Indian companies act 2013.

This development strengthens the ministry of corporate affairs guidelines to boost industry- academia collaboration. The modalities of the proposed partnership and its funding is currently in stages of discussions and will be finalized after legal and compliance approvals from both CDRI and Cipla Foundation.

Speaking about this possible collaboration, Cipla Foundation Head, said “Public health research is critical for improving the overall state of healthcare in India and thereby fulfils the objectives set out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. A partnership like this, between Cipla Foundation and CDRI will encourage scientific research for the welfare of society and benefit all by making quality healthcare affordable and accessible.”

On this occasion, Director, CSIR-CDRI, Professor Tapas K Kundu said CSIR-CDRI is premier Drug Discovery & Development institute of the country and Cipla Foundation are in talks to setup a joint research Center for the affordable healthcare program not only for India but also Globally. Active participation from Cipla’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, in my view this is one of the unique efforts of a government institution and a pharmaceutical company which is de novo generated from the soil and spread all of the wold for affordable healthcare.