The Union Cabinet has approved the implementation of a joint venture programme of Department of Biotechnology –Wellcome Trust for R&D to develop affordable Healthcare products in India, according to PIB release of 26 April. The programme includes creation of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to be operated as an independent not-for-profit, Section-25 Company, to deliver the programme.
The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the Wellcome Trust (WT), London, U.K., one of the world’s largest bio-medical research charities, propose to establish a joint funding initiative entitled “R&D for Affordable Healthcare in India” with the aim of addressing the healthcare needs of the economically disadvantaged by funding research scientists based mainly in India, to develop safe, effective and affordable healthcare products for use primarily in the Indian Market.
It will involve an approximate expenditure of Rs.370.40 crore with Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Wellcome Trust committing equal sums of Rs. 185.20 crore each over a period of five years commencing 2011-12.
Approximately Rs.18.60 crore will be incurred by DBT during the remaining one year (2011-12) of the XI Five Year Plan period, and Rs.166.60 crore in implementation of the programme during the four years (2012-13 to 2015-16) beyond the XI Plan.
The programme will support translational and innovative research projects at Indian institutions/ companies potentially leading to safe, efficacious and affordable healthcare products such as drugs, vaccines, stem cells and regenerative medicine products, bio-fortified products for nutrition, diagnostics, devices and implants, bio-equipment products and e-health.
This joint venture is expected to stimulate innovation in academic and commercial research laboratories in India and enhance pool of trained manpower in translational programme as per international standards. This programme will provide not only funding but also add value through access to global resources and mentorship to the Indian investigators for successful delivery of projects.