The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) plans to set up a task force on gene therapy research to encourage greater research in the emerging field. Topics such as gene editing—a hot area of focus in China and the United States—are top of mind. ICMR is calling for research proposals as it has identified that many rare and inherited disorders are not addressed by standard medicines or therapies.
Great Strides in the West
The Hindu Business Online reports that the western world has been advancing this form of science for the past few decades culminating in approval drugs such as Luxuturna for Retinis Pigmentoa or Yescarta for, a cell therapy for cancer presently in clinical trials.
A Fund in the Indian Subcontinent
Hence, ICMR is looking to build a fund to finance gene therapy research to address rare and inherited disorders with no treatments. Areas that ICMR seeks to fund include genetic diseases affecting the brain and muscles, eye disorders, heart diseases, blood disorders such as Thalassemia, Sickle Cell Disease and Hemophilia—as well as more traditional diseases from cancer to diabetes and lung diseases.
Rules and Regulations
Additionally, ICMR seeks to bolster its national guidelines, regulations and guidance to scientists, researchers and clinical investigators. Why not? Other countries have a jump start but India has a lot of smart researchers, physicians and scientists. TrialSite News will monitor this news carefully.
What is the Indian Council of Medical Research
The Indian Council of Medical Research represents the central body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research. It is one of the oldest (1911) and largest medical research bodies in the world. The ICMR is funded by the Government of India via the Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
ICMR includes 26 national institutes (much like the NIH in the U.S.), each addressing specific therapeutic areas or health topics.