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NIPERs and Pharma Industries bridged to fulfill academic and industry gap


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National Institutes for Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPERs) and Pharma Industries signed 17 MoU to bridge gap betwwen academic education and industrial needs. One of the critical factors in building innovation ecosystem and for Drug Discovery is Academia-Industry linkage. Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) for the last one year has actively engaged both the NIPERs and the Pharma Industry to build partnership in areas of education, research and development.

The result is that 7 NIPERs have undertaken Academia-Industry linkage with 17 Pharma Industries of Private and Public sector. These 7 NIPERs exchanged MOUs with Industry heads in the presence of H.E.President of India Pranab Mukherjee on 4th November 2015 as a part of Visitors conference being held now 4-6th November 2015. During the event,  a total of 45 MOUs were exchanged between Central Institutions viz., IITs, NIPERs, IISERs,IIITs, IISc-B, NIFT, NITs, RGIPT, RGNIYD& SPAs. Of the 45, 17 are under Pharmaceuticals sector. Thus the initiative of DoP stands out.

India enjoys global leadership in Pharmaceutical sector in Generic medicines. DoP celebrates the achievements of both Public and Private Pharma Industry for their contribution in India’s self-reliance on medicines. Globally India ranks 3rd largest in volume and 10th in value.  Every third tablet consumed globally is made in India. Exports are being made to more than 200 Countries with a major share in regulated markets. Much of the credit goes to policy initiative in terms of Patent Act, 1970 which allowed process patents, enabling in transforming India from medicine importing country to exporting country and Private and Public skill and entrepreneurship of Pharma Industry.

NIPER signed MoU regarding Exchange of scientific personnel for Education and Training and research collaboration; Curriculum Development, Education and Industry project work to students; Formulation Development; Research and development in anti-inflammatory and life-style disease segments; Collaborative Research in the areas of Metabolic Disorders, CNS disorders, Oncology and Infectious diseases; Formulation development in the area of Hematinics, Anti ulcerants, anti-bacterials, pain management, gynaecology and cardiovascular; Formulation Development and Training; Collaboration in the area of Biopharmaceuticals and Natural Products for drug discovery.; and Product Development and Training.

Different branches of NIPERs signed MoU with private pharma industries and center public sector enterprises. NIPER Hyderabad signed MoU with Dr. Reddyy's Labs, Bharat Biotech and NATCO; NIPER Ahmedabad signed MoU with Cadila Pharmaceuticals, Cadila Healthcare (Zyudus), Sahjanand Technologies, Johnson & Johnson and Hindustan Anti-biotics limited; NIPER Mohali signed MoU with Sun Pharma, Wockahardt, Panacea Biotech, Medley Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and Rajasthan Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd.; NIPER Guwahati signed MoU with Karnataka Anti-biotics and Pharmaceuticals Limited; NIPER Hajipur signed MoU with Bengal Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited Kolkata; NIPER Kolkata signed MoU with Bengal Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited Kolkata; NIPER Rae Bareli signed MoU with Indian Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Limited Rishikesh / Gurgaon.

Pharma sector is a knowledge intensive science and technology based industry. Indian domestic pharma market is around Rs.1.00 lakh crores and its analysis suggests that patent medicines constitute less than 1% share illustrating poor accessibility/ availability of latest innovative medicines in the face of growing non-communicable diseases like cancer because of affordability. This issue reiterates the urgency for India to have paradigm shift in its strategy to expand its leadership in Drug Discovery and Innovation after post-WTO, TRIPS regime.India’s leadership in Drugs Discovery will not only make medicines affordable and will surely pave a way for India becoming a prosperous nation addressing the poverty as well. High risk and High investment are the hallmarks of drugs discovery.

High quality manpower is one of the critical requirements for its success. It is under these circumstances that the Government of India has set up NIPERs for nurture and produce high quality manpower for making India a global leader in Drugs Discovery. NIPERs are Institutions of National importance set up under NIPER Act, 1998 on the lines of IITs. Presently there are 7 NIPERs functional at Mohali, Ahmedabad, Guwahati, Hajipur, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Raebareli. One more NIPER at Madurai is in process of setting up. During 2015-16 2 new NIPERs were announced for Chattisgarh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan state.

Further in India, the research and development in Pharmaceuticals sector is spread across a number of Ministries and Departments viz., Department of Biotechnology, Department of Science and Technology, Department Scientific and Industrial Research, Health Systems Research (ICMR) and  DoP. It is under these circumstances that the DoP is drawing up a common road map for Drug Discovery through convergence and synergy involving all stakeholders.

DoP has identified that Academia-Industry linkage as a basic requirement for translating research into development (commercialization) and Innovation; and also to fix accountability among the Educational Institutions. The initiative will be a historic event in the annals of DoP in its endeavour of making India a global leader in Drugs Discovery.

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