TB Drug Project Gets a Lease of Life

Jacob Koshy | The Hindu | December 20, 2016

There is also interest from BRICS countries to commit funds for research, says ICMR chief

Hit by funds crunch since 2014, the Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) Project — fronted by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and conceived as a unique global programme to find new drugs for tuberculosis — has now been subsumed within a new programme to be led by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The proposed India TB Research and Development Corporation (ITRDC), announced last month and led by the ICMR, has got a Rs. 20 crore infusion by Tata Trusts and expects to be a Rs. 750-crore enterprise half funded by the government and the rest by international donor agencies and private companies, said officials associated with it.

“We need to have a nimble agency that can sharply work on, say, delivering diagnostic devices, a short course therapy for TB,” Soumya Swaminathan, Director-General, ICMR, told The Hindu. “It has to be independent and needs to be free of some of the bureaucratic control”...