New Delhi, September 03, 2014 – The Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi an Autonomous Institute under Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India through it upcoming National Cancer Institute at Jhajjar have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for furtherance of Cancer Research taking into cognizance that cancer disease burden is fast reaching pandemic proportion in India. DBT, GOI funds research using modern tools of biology and AIIMS is a tertiary-care hospital cum research centre. Both recognize the importance of collaborative & complimentary research so as to bring about an improvement in public awareness on likely causes of cancer, prevention strategies, early-detection and improved therapeutic interventions so as to improve the quality of life and survival rate. Their efforts will specially focus on cancers unique to India such as Gall-bladder, oral and cervical & Naso-pharyngeal cancer, as also with high disease burden.

DBT has been supporting basic, clinical and molecular epidemiological cancer research through its various schemes for the past 20 years. It promoted development of diagnostics for cervical cancer, indigenous cervical cancer vaccines, immuno-modulation clinical trials and biomarker discovery. Schemes such as SBIRI, BIRAC which support industry are pro-active in funding bio-similar therapeutics, monoclonal antibodies etc. to bring down the cost so that the cancer treatment becomes less expensive to individuals and social system.

AIIMS on the other hand is developing a National Cancer Institute at its upcoming Jhajjar Campus where the focus is also on cancer research in addition to patient care & management. The project, to be developed at a cost of about Rs. 2000 crore as sanctioned by the Ministry of Health in the coming three and a half years is expected to be a big step in research in cancer in the country and would play a significant role in cancer treatment. So far, India has about 28 Regional Cancer Centres that mainly treats patients. However, research has not been a priority. Through this MoU, it is therefore planned to:

1. Set up a joint Research Advisory Board to:

  • Identify areas of research: immediate, medium and long-term planning
  • Evolve consensus mechanism to harmonize administrative and financial processes and approvals (evaluation, funding and monitoring) through mutual discussion
  • Develop a policy perspective including economic analysis and forecasting for technology with potential for use in public health especially in cancer related areas

2. Scientific Research collaborations in the area of Cancer Biology to:

  • Promote development of new affordable technologies, introduction of the available technologies in the system and provide support for diffusion of the technologies into the social system. To fulfill this, joint efforts would be undertaken for research work and its translation to public health in India; with specific focus on cancers unique to India
  • Jointly design clinical trials
  • Collaborate for joint development and evaluation of vaccines, diagnostics, biomarkers, therapeutics etc.
  • Co-ordinate and collaborate for translational research in cancer related areas

3. Co-design and Co-develop research labs / facilities at National Cancer Institute (NCI) located at AIIMS-Jhajjar campus, for the purpose of Cancer Prevention/Research

4. Training of man-power by:

  • Offering joint clinical fellowships
  • Building capacity in the country within the medical schools or outside the system in translational research with strong networking.
  • Opening the facility and infrastructure to scientists identified under the jointly agreed programmes.
  • Jointly support competence building through short term trainings in GLP, GCP, quality control, IPR, regulation and clinical trial skills that are critical for development of new technologies.

5. Co-creating a state-of-the art Bio-bank with well annotated specimens.

6. Jointly support and forge partnership with industry for the development and evaluation of products for public health through Public Private Partnership within the framework of DBT / AIIMS Rules and Regulations

DBT has been supporting basic, clinical and molecular epidemiological cancer research through its various schemes for the past 20 years. It promoted development of diagnostics for cervical cancer, indigenous cervical cancer vaccines, immuno-modulation clinical trials and biomarker discovery. Schemes such as SBIRI, BIRAC which support industry are pro-active in funding bio-similar therapeutics, monoclonal antibodies etc. to bring down the cost so that the cancer treatment becomes less expensive to individuals and social system.

AIIMS on the other hand is developing a National Cancer Institute at its upcoming Jhajjar Campus where the focus is also on cancer research in addition to patient care & management. The project, to be developed at a cost of about Rs. 2000 crore as sanctioned by the Ministry of Health in the coming three and a half years is expected to be a big step in research in cancer in the country and would play a significant role in cancer treatment. So far, India has about 28 Regional Cancer Centres that mainly treats patients. However, research has not been a priority. Through this MoU, it is therefore planned to:

7. Set up a joint Research Advisory Board to:

  • Identify areas of research: immediate, medium and long-term planning
  • Evolve consensus mechanism to harmonize administrative and financial processes and approvals (evaluation, funding and monitoring) through mutual discussion
  • Develop a policy perspective including economic analysis and forecasting for technology with potential for use in public health especially in cancer related areas

8. Scientific Research collaborations in the area of Cancer Biology to:

  • Promote development of new affordable technologies, introduction of the available technologies in the system and provide support for diffusion of the technologies into the social system. To fulfill this, joint efforts would be undertaken for research work and its translation to public health in India; with specific focus on cancers unique to India
  • Jointly design clinical trials
  • Collaborate for joint development and evaluation of vaccines, diagnostics, biomarkers, therapeutics etc.
  • Co-ordinate and collaborate for translational research in cancer related areas

9. Co-design and Co-develop research labs / facilities at National Cancer Institute (NCI) located at AIIMS-Jhajjar campus, for the purpose of Cancer Prevention/Research

10. Training of man-power by:

  • Offering joint clinical fellowships
  • Building capacity in the country within the medical schools or outside the system in translational research with strong networking.
  • Opening the facility and infrastructure to scientists identified under the jointly agreed programmes.
  • Jointly support competence building through short term trainings in GLP, GCP, quality control, IPR, regulation and clinical trial skills that are critical for development of new technologies.

11. Co-creating a state-of-the art Bio-bank with well annotated specimens.

12. Jointly support and forge partnership with industry for the development and evaluation of products for public health through Public Private Partnership within the framework of DBT / AIIMS Rules and Regulations.
CCI Newswire.

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