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Incentives soon for bio-tech

A Slew of incentives for young scientists will soon be announced to encourage innovation in biotechnology, reports BR Srikanth.

india Updated: Nov 26, 2006 02:50 IST

A Slew of incentives for young scientists will soon be announced to encourage innovation in biotechnology, Union Minister for Science & Technology Kapil Sibal said here on Saturday.

The minister was inaugurating a state-of-the-art drug discovery facility of the Jubilant Organsys Ltd, here.

The incentives, which Sibal said could be the “turning point” for young biotechnologists, include "a legislation in the budget session of Parliament to enable scientists receive one-third of the value of the patent created for drug discovery (as an incentive). Of the balance, one-third (33 per cent) will go back to the project and the remaining to the public enterprise funding the project."

The Centre will also put in place a new biotechnology policy, he said. “Grants worth Rs 50 lakh million and loans worth Rs 1 crore will be sanctioned at very low interest rates to scientists for drug discovery and development. For manufacturing, we will seek tax incentives and exemptions from the finance ministry to encourage enterprises to take up production of new drugs on a large scale,” Sibal said.

The minister later said a draft of the legislation was ready and would be hosted on the ministry's website soon for public comments.

The Jubilant Discovery Centre will house about 500 scientists and provide integrated solutions to global pharmaceuticals and life sciences companies. Described as the largest of its kind in the subcontinent, the centre has capabilities in molecular modelling, protein crystallography, medicinal chemistry and invitro/invivo biology.

Shyam S Bhartia, Chairman and Managing Director, Jubliant Organsys' Ltd, said the "scientists will work in the field of small molecule discovery in therapeutic areas of cancer, metabolic disorders and HIV." He informed that the centre will engage the global community to find innovative methods of drug discovery.

Hari S Bhartia, co-chairman and managing director, said the new facility will foster collaboration with the government, academia, vendors and customers in aligning interests in developing innovation.

First Published: Nov 26, 2006 02:50 IST