US varsity to help IICT store bioactive molecules

V. N. Harinath

Molecules will help develop new drugsInstitute plans storing one lakh molecules

HYDERABAD: The National Centre for Natural Products Research (NCNPR), University of Mississipi, which is the only such facility in the US, has agreed to help the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) here to establish a bank of bioactive molecules for developing new drugs.

The agreement was reached at the end of the two-day Indo-US conference on new bioactive molecules in pharmaceutical research held at the IICT on Tuesday.

The agreement envisages that IICT will have a capacity to store at least one-lakh molecules in the next five years, according to P.V. Srinivas, coordinator of the conference. For achieving this target, the IICT was seeking the cooperation of universities and other institutions across the country. "The ultimate aim is to have five lakh molecules," he said.

He said NCNPR had also agreed to cooperate in biological assay (screening results) of the molecules which could be documented on a separate website. The website could be accessed by any interested person, including representatives of pharma industries.

MoU signed

According to J.S. Yadav, IICT Director, the Rs. 23-crore National Facility for Combinatorial Natural Products to be ready by July next year, as part of an MoU signed between NCNPR and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, would store the molecules to be contributed by different organisations. Larry Walker, NCNPR Director, was among more the 30-odd foreign delegates who attended.

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