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Medical innovations to help India lead in healthcare by 2035: Biotech Secretary Translational Health Science and Technology Institute interim Labs open in Gurgaon

India has the potential to significantly improve healthcare in the next 25 to 30 years provided it steps up capacity for generating and translating scientific and technological advancements into medical innovations. Building an abundant pool of inter disciplinary scientists and supportive regulatory environment that is conducive to building intellectual property were the two key elements identified by Dr. M K Bhan, Secretary Department of Biotechnology to meet this objective. Dr Bhan was speaking at the opening of the interim laboratories of the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI) by Prof. G. Padmanaban, distinguished biotechnologist of the Indian Institute of Science, last evening at New Delhi.

Dr Bhan, who serves as the chairman of the recently set up THSTI, hoped that India will develop a new breed of scientists and researchers who are adept at the cutting edge of basic research, life sciences and drug discovery on one hand and possess the ability to work with global drug makers to create vaccines for diseases and rare medical conditions. In a discussion on the institutional framework to enable translation in the health sciences in India, the scientists, from private sector, academia and healthcare NGOs, were agreed on the need to cut short the current 20-25 year lag between molecule discovery and drug introduction. There was a need for dramatic breakthroughs in healthcare to develop healthcare systems that are affordable for both individuals and the nations.

The Director of the US NIH institute for Research Resources Dr. Barbara Alving said that even with so much progress in medicine, we need to find ways make healthcare activity more efficient and to improve patient care. She welcomed affordable solutions from social entrepreneurs, like Aravind Eye Clinic, that drive innovations to the bottom of the pyramid. The Translational Institute and the Biotech cluster in Delhi NCR will provide a seamless umbrella under which innovations can fructify into useful products, said Mr Shrikumar Suryanaraynan, the Chief utive of THSTI. The cluster institutions will have access to state of the art experimental animal facility, platform technology resources and incubation facilities.

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