Soon, a Generic Drug for TB Likely
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24 March 2011
New Delhi, India
CSIR Accepts Offer By Two Companies To Help Conduct Clinical Trials
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the country’s premier scientific research organisation, may be close to developing a generic drug for tuberculosis. Two pharmaceutical companies have approached it for help in conducting clinical trials for two molecules that they have developed.
CSIR officials say if the Council accepts the offers, the drug would then become a property of Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) project. OSDD was started some time ago to expedite work on a TB drug by engaging scientists from around the world. As per this model, though the credit is given, no patent can be obtained since the intellectual property rights belong to OSDD.
Announcing this on the eve of World TB Day on March 24, science and technology secretary S K Brahmachari said, "There are two molecules that have shown potential, and will now be developed into a drug. It is good that companies, too, are approaching us to become a part of OSDD."
Since the proposals are yet to be finalised, CSIR is hesitant to divulge the firms’ names. However,scientists maintained that both molecules have passed pre–clinical trials, and the companies have patented them.
"If we accept them for the trials, we may bear up to 80% of the cost. In return, we will have a say on the market price of the drug once it is developed. The companies also stand to gain. They can have access to the pool of experts," a scientist said. CSIR is also setting up an OSDD chemistry laboratory in Hyderabad for synthesis of potential anti–TB compounds. Besides, OSDD could be extended to other diseases like malaria.