Indo-US collaboration agreement in low-cost medical technologies

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New Delhi, Oct 4 (UNI) India and the US today agreed to collaborate on developing low-cost, diagnostic and therapeutic medical technologies.

An agreement in this regard was signed by the Department of Biotechnology in the Ministry of Science and Technology and the the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering within the US National Institutes of Health.

The major focus will be on infectious diseases, trauma, maternal and child health, and chronic ailments such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

The two sides also signed a letter of intent (LoI) on translational research that will bridge the gap between basic science and clinical science.

The research will be undertaken at the Translational Health Cluster being set up at Faridabad, Dr M K Bhan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology told a joint press conference with NIH Director E A Zerhouni here.

The cluster will have a university, a translational institute surrounded by centres for research in animal sciences and other areas, Dr Zerhouni said.

In reply to a question, he said the clinical trials will be done in the US.

The purpose is to create a model cluster to be replicated across the country, Dr Bhan said.

''We are looking for global partnership, not for global funds,'' he clarified and added that the Indian government had committed to providing money ''as much as required''.

Dr Zerhouni said translational science was the future in science.

''There are at present very few persons who have the knowledge in translational science and very few such 'homes' to train such scientists,'' he said. ''The cluster will try to bridge that gap.'' On the low-cost medical technologies, he said the collaboration would include tie-up among scientists and engineers in centres of excellence in the two countries to conduct research, research training and technology development.

An Indo-US meeting on translational Health Sciences was held here.

Addressing the meeting, Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal stressed the need for availability of funds to the public institutes to pursue research activities for innovative solutions in the public health sector.

UNI

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