The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) announce COVID-19 Research Consortium and seek Letters of Intent (LOIs) with a focus on Diagnostics, Vaccines, Novel Therapeutics, Repurposing of Drugs or any other intervention for control of COVID-19.
In response to the outbreak, there is an urgent need to accelerate development of diagnostics, vaccines, novel therapeutics and re-purposing of drugs for this novel corona virus. In view of the limited current level of knowledge about the new virus, critical research questions need to be answered urgently, and ways have to be found to fund priority research that can contribute to curtail this outbreak and prepare for future outbreaks.
Urgent need to develop safe and effective countermeasures that can be available, accessible and suitable for use in populations most in need. Research is an important integral component of the response to be able to identify key knowledge gaps and research priorities, and thereby accelerate the generation of critical scientific information and the most needed medical products to contribute to the control of 2019-nCoV emergency.
The themes of the current RFP is:
Developing Diagnostics, Vaccines, novel Therapeutics, repurposing of drugs and any other intervention for control of COVID-19 outbreak”. Projects submitted must take into account the criteria for affordability, wide-spread adoption and have a realistic possibility for scale-up. The scope of the RFP is inclusive of and not exhaustive of the following areas:
- To develop technologies/Assays/components for diagnosis of corona virus and SARSCoV-2 including diagnostic methods such as ELISA, Lateral Flow assay, Molecular diagnostics (PCR, Real Time PCR), Colorimetric tests, Chemiluminescence, Immunoassays, cell culture
- Vaccine technology platforms, novel vaccine manufacturing technologies, vaccine candidates and enabling disciplines for corona virus vaccine development
- Type of candidate vaccine can be DNA, RNA, Live Attenuated Virus, Non-Replicating Viral Vector, Protein Subunit, Replicating Viral Vector at any stage of development
- In-licensing technology for optimization, scale-up and manufacturing
- Novel Therapeutics:
- To develop in-vitro assay/animal models and standardize challenge studies
- Screen existing libraries (Biologicals and Chemicals) and identify potential hits for development
- Novel methods of B-cell isolation/ monoclonal antibody development
- Repurposing of Drugs:
- Develop prophylaxis clinical studies and prioritize in healthcare workers
- Evaluate existing marketed drugs under a standard protocol in patients of COVID-19
- Any other:
- Development of any other intervention/technology related to SARS-CoV-2 outbreak prevention and control
- Funding Support: Grant-in-aid assistance will depend on the proposed activities.
- Duration: Project duration can be up to 24 months (encouraged to develop the solution in 6-12 months wherever possible)
EXCLUSIONS- Examples of areas that will not be considered:
- Proposals not related to SARS-CoV-2
- Projects not having product development component
- The proposed concept not having commercialization potential
- The grant is not a research fellowship
The proposals can be submitted by:
- Company (Start-up, Small, Medium or Large) incorporated under the Companies Act, 2013 having a minimum of 51% of the shares of the Company to be held by Indian Citizens (Indian passport holders).
- Limited liability Partnership (LLP) incorporated under the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008 having a minimum half of the persons who have subscribed their names to the LLP document as its Partners should be Indian citizens.
- Academia (Public or Private Research Institute, University) having a well-established support system for research. The institute should have been established in India and have NAAC/ UGC/ AICTE or any equivalent recognition certificate or any other Public/Government supported organization.
- Non-academic Individuals (NAI).
Application can be submitted by any of the above entities (a – d) jointly or severally.
NOTE: The applicant Company/LLP should have adequate in-house facility to address the project implementation (which shall be evaluated during the proposal evaluation) or incubated with any of the recognized incubation facility. DSIR certificate is not mandatory.
Key requirements for the proposed technologies/ products that will be considered:
- Developed process should be sustainable from an economic and environmental point of view
- The technology should be scalable
For more information, visit BIRAC.