Emory University, Georgia, the U.S., has sought approval from the National Institutes of Health, a U.S. Medical Research Agency, to set up a vaccine testing and evaluation centre in Bangalore.
The NIH has seven evaluation and testing centres, including Emory University, all within the U.S., said Murali Krishna Kaja, Associate Professor, School of Medicine, Emory University, who obtained his doctoral degree from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
He was interacting with presspersons here on Tuesday on the sidelines of Bangalore India Bio where Karnataka Biotechnology and Information Services signed memorandum of understandings with Georgian Department of Economic Development and Scottish Development International.
Emory University conducts clinical research in India, in association with various research institutes, including International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), New Delhi. The Joint ICGEB-Emory Vaccine Centre is focussing on vaccine for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis C, dengue, malaria and chikungunya.
Mr. Kaja said the testing centre is likely to come up at the St. John’s Hospital and Research Institute, Bangalore, where Emory University is already conducting research trials, he said. Once the university obtains NIH approval, it would commence the process of obtaining regulatory approvals in India. The funding pattern would be decided thereafter, Mr. Kaja said.
Terming the MoU as Scotland’s growing interest in supporting the State in the life sciences sector, Scottish Development CEO Anne MacColl told presspersons later that her country has a long history of life sciences and innovations. The MoU aims at helping Scottish companies expand their market in Karnataka as well as promoting Karnataka interest and investment in Scotland.
Georgia Centers of Innovation Director Mark Lytle said his province is a hub of clinical trials and the MoU intends to expand mutual cooperation between the two states.
Karnataka IT, BT & ST Secretary I.S.N. Prasad said the MoUs were intended to be facilitators for entrepreneurs of both the countries to take their mutual initiatives forward. He said Scotland has some of the best BT finishing schools and its expertise would be useful in improving similar schools in Karnataka.