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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 50  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 225--226

Developing and sustaining India's capacity for preclinical drug discovery

David I Lewis1, Bhagirath K Patel2, B Dinesh Kumar3, Bikash Medhi4,  
1 School of Biomedical Sciences (Faculty of Biological Sciences), University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
2 Director of Sat Kaival College of Pharmacy (SKCOP), General Secretary, Indian Pharmacological Society (IPS), Sarsa, Gujarat, India
3 Drug Toxicology Division, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India
4 Department of Pharmacology, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. David I Lewis
School of Biomedical Sciences (Faculty of Biological Sciences), University of Leeds, Leeds
UK




How to cite this article:
Lewis DI, Patel BK, Kumar B D, Medhi B. Developing and sustaining India's capacity for preclinical drug discovery.Indian J Pharmacol 2018;50:225-226


How to cite this URL:
Lewis DI, Patel BK, Kumar B D, Medhi B. Developing and sustaining India's capacity for preclinical drug discovery. Indian J Pharmacol [serial online] 2018 [cited 2019 Mar 21 ];50:225-226
Available from: http://www.ijp-online.com/text.asp?2018/50/5/225/247539


Full Text



The Indian Pharmacological Society is delighted to announce an exciting major new initiative, a unique collaborative partnership between the society, the ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, and the University of Leeds (United Kingdom) to harmonize the education, training, and continuing professional development of pharmacologists who use animals in their research, or in the discovery and development of new medicines.

With funding under the MSDE-UKIERI Skills Thematic Institutional Partnerships Initiative, the three partners will create and deliver “Train the Educator” courses for colleagues involved in the education, training, and continuing professional development of both early career and established experimental pharmacologist. They will also establish educational and research networks and links, both within India, and between India and the UK.

 Preclinical Drug Discovery in India: The Way Forward



The Indian pharmaceutical industry is a major player in the global development and production of medicines. This sector is growing rapidly, with the government's vision being that, by 2020, India is the country for major pharma to go to when developing new medicines. The country's indigenous flora and fauna provide a rich, and largely untapped, resource to develop pharmaceuticals from natural products, a unique opportunity for national economic growth and development. There is also a need to assess the efficacy and safety of medicines, developed outside of India, for the Indian market and population.

Critical to this vision is the education, training, and continuing professional development of a highly skilled national workforce of experimental pharmacologist, and the harmonization of this education and training, to international standards and good practice, across India.

 Building India's Capacity for Preclinical Drug Discovery



Like many countries across the world, India has a substantial shortage of pharmacologists with the necessary knowledge, skills, and expertise to undertake studies involving laboratory animals. To address this skills gap and to harmonize education, training, and research in the discipline across India, the Society and its Indian and the UK partners will create and deliver industry-relevant “Train the Educator” courses for colleagues, employed at either Indian Universities, research Institutes or pharmaceutical companies, with responsibility the education, training, and continuing professional development of experimental pharmacologist within their organization. The first course, for those responsible for the education and training of postgraduate students and early career researchers, will take place at the ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, in early 2019 as part of the Institutes Centenary celebrations. Another course, for colleagues responsible for the continuing professional development of established researchers, will take place in September 2019. Both courses will be tailored to address the needs of the Indian research and drug discovery/development communities, and of Indian Pharma, while also incorporating best international practice in laboratory animal sciences, welfare, and ethics.

To further develop both capacity and harmonization in laboratory animal sciences across India, all educational resources developed will be freely shared with all interested parties. They will be uploaded onto Education and Training Resources in in vivo Sciences, www.etris.leeds.ac.uk, a free, online, open-access repository of e-learning and training resources in the discipline. We will also work with course participants to enable them to deliver similar courses at their own organizations and across their networks.

There will also be a program of educational and research exchange visits for course participants between India and the UK.

 Developing Networks and Links



Crucial to the success of this initiative is the development of networks of good practice in both education and research in laboratory animal sciences across India, and the fostering of collaborative partnerships between universities, research institutes, animal welfare organizations, and Industry. Opportunities for delegates to meet like-minded colleagues and to form networks and partnerships will be embedded in all courses run under this initiative.

Collectively, this exciting initiative will provide a self-sustaining, national program of education, training, and continuing professional development in laboratory animal sciences which addresses the country's in vivo skills gap, the harmonization and embedding of good practice in the discipline across India, and the development of both educational and research networks in laboratory animal sciences, all essential requirements for the future growth of preclinical drug discovery and development in India.