September 28, 2008

Open Source Drug Discover to develop affordable medicines for tropical diseases

India's initiative on the Open Source Drug Discover (OSDD) will begin a new era in the development of affordable medicines especially for the tropical diseases, Union Minister for Science and Technology Kapil Sibal said on Saturday.

Indian and Asian scientists have to design different paradigms and architectures to tackle these diseases like tuberculosis, malaria, kala azar through the OSDD, he said while inaugurating the 13th international 'Human Genome Meeting' here.

"No multinational company will invest in drugs for these diseases, because the paying capacity of the afflicted population cannot meet the expectations of profit. Therefore, I am sure that the OSDD will progressively cover all such diseases afflicting India and the whole developing world," Sibal said.

Stressing on the need for more participation of scientists from all disciplines, he said the OSDD allows everybody to join in the drug discovery process and it is the way forward.

The OSDD initiative by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) will allow the scientists to discover new molecules which can be then taken for further R&D with the help of various funding agencies including drug discovery companies. Its a platform for new ideas on a non- exclusive basis, he said.

The Minister invited private participation in this huge endeavour of human genome to invest in a big way which opens way for predictive and preventive medicines. This cannot be done only by the government alone, he said.

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