NIV & Sun Pharma sign MoU to test dengue, chikungunya and zika drugs
Mosquito-borne viral infections such as dengue and chikungunya are a matter of public health concern in IndiaUpdated: Jun 27, 2017 18:10 IST
Pune-based National Institute of Virology (NIV), which functions under Indian Council of Medical Research, and Sun Pharma on Tuesday signed a pact to test the company’s new medicines to combat dengue, chikungunya and zika.
As part of the agreement, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. will provide drug molecules to NIV for testing against these three mosquito-borne infections, the company said in a statement.
The new molecules could be based on phytopharmaceutical (plant based), biologic and chemical entities.
Candidate molecules with encouraging data will then be taken forward for commercial development.
The statement also said that it was a part of the company’s broader commitment for developing new and improved vaccines and drugs against arboviruses that are of significant health importance to India and rest of the world.
“Our decision to partner with NIV was made following extensive due diligence and consultations on existing programs globally,” said Kirti Ganorkar, Sun Pharma Executive VP and Head, Global Business Development.
Dengue and chikungunya are major public health concerns in India like most of the tropical and subtropical countries. The recent rapid spread of Zika virus across the world has added threat to the list of viral infections that care spread through the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.
“Unfortunately, no effective antivirals and vaccines are available for these infections yet. Our agreement with Sun Pharma aims to find a solution to these unmet needs,” said NIV Director, Devendra Mourya.
Sun Pharma and NIV aim to promote discovery sciences, translational health research and development of medical products, which is in sync with the direction provided by government’s ‘Make In India’ initiative, the company said.
The latest agreement with NIV follows Sun Pharma’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ICMR for conducting joint scientific research and innovation for testing of drugs, biosimilars and vaccines and disease control and elimination programmes.