The Ayurvedic practitioners and researchers in India and therefore the US are getting to initiate joint clinical trials for Ayurveda formulations against the novel coronavirus, the Indian envoy here has said.
In a virtual interaction with a gaggle of eminent Indian-American scientists, academicians, and doctors on Wednesday, Indian Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu said the vast network of institutional engagements have brought scientific communities between the 2 countries together within the fight against COVID-19.
“Our Institutions have also been collaborating to market Ayurveda through joint research, teaching and training programmes. The Ayurvedic practitioners and researchers in both the countries are getting to initiate joint clinical trials of Ayurvedic formulations against COVID-19,” Sandhu said.
“Our scientists are exchanging knowledge and research resources on this front,” he said.
The Indo-US Science Technology Forum (IUSSTF) has always been instrumental in promoting excellence in science, technology, and innovation through collaborative activities.
To address COVID-19-related challenges, the IUSSTF had given a call to support joint research and start-up engagements. sizable amount of proposals are being reviewed on means mode by the experts on both the edges , he said.
“Indian pharmaceutical companies are global leaders in producing affordable low-cost medicines and vaccines and can play a crucial role within the fight against this pandemic,” Sandhu said.
According to the ambassador, there are a minimum of three ongoing collaborations between Indian vaccine companies with the US-based institutions.
These collaborations would be beneficial not just to India and therefore the US, but also for the billions who would wish to be vaccinated against COVID-19 across the planet , he noted.
Asserting that innovation are going to be the key driver in pandemic response and recovery, he said tech-companies and start-ups have already begun to require the lead during this direction.
“Telemedicine and telehealth will evolve as will other digital platforms across sectors,” he said.
Noting that there has been longstanding collaboration between India and US in health sector, he said scientists are working together in several programmes to know important diseases at basic and clinical level.
Many such programmes are focused on translational research to develop new therapeutics and diagnostics.
There are over 200 ongoing NIH funded projects in India involving 20 institutions from NIH network and a number of other eminent institutions in India engaged during a wide spectrum of research areas to make health care solutions, the senior diplomat said.
The collaboration under Vaccine Action Programme (VAP) resulted in development of ROTAVAC vaccine against rota virus which causes severe diarrhea in children.
The vaccine was developed by an Indian company (Bharat Biotech) at a reasonable cost. it’s been commercialised and introduced within the Expanded Programme on Immunisation.
Development of the many other vaccines like TB, Influenza, Chikungunya also are ongoing under the VAP, he said.
“As I speak, the VAP meeting is ongoing where experts from both countries are deeply engaged in technical discussions to expedite development of COVID-19 vaccine,” Sandhu said in his remarks.
During the interaction, the eminent experts appreciated India’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and offered their valuable suggestions and best practices.
They shared their ideas on deepening the knowledge partnership between India and therefore the US.
The experts who took part in interaction, were drawn from a wide-ranging fields including AI , quantum informatics , biomedical engineering, robotics, engineering , earth and ocean science, virology, physics, astrophysics, and health sciences.
Prominent among those that attended the virtual interaction were Subhash Kak Regents Professor at Oklahoma State University, Dr Vijay Kuchroo, Samuel L Wasserstrom Professor of Neurology at Harvard school of medicine , Dr Ashish M Kamat, Professor of Urology at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Ashutosh Chilkoti, Alan L Kaganov Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University; and Prof Manu Prakash, professor in Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University , among others.