Sun Pharma and The National Institute of Virology, Pune, an institution of the Indian Council of Medical Research, Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare , New Delhi have signed an agreement for testing phytopharmaceutical, biologic and chemical entities developed by Sun Pharma against Zika, Chikungunya and Dengue viruses.
Sun Pharma will provide drug molecules to NIV for testing against Zika, Chikungunya and Dengue in model systems. Candidate molecules with encouraging data will then be taken forward for commercial development.
Together, Sun Pharma and NIV will work together to respond to significant and emerging public health threats in India and rest of the world due to viruses: Zika, Chikungunya and Dengue. These are arboviral diseases that have rapidly spread across globally in the last decade, and have often led to large-scale endemic outbreaks in tropical and sub-tropical countries.
Commenting on the agreement signed with NIV, Mr. Kirti Ganorkar, Executive VP & Head, Global Business Development, Sun Pharma, said, “Our agreement with NIV for developing drugs against Zika, Chikungunya and Dengue is part of our broader commitment for developing new and improved vaccines and drugs against arboviruses that are of significant health importance to India and rest of the world. Our decision to partner with NIV was made following extensive due diligence and consultations on existing programs globally.”
“A couple of interesting phytopharmaceutical candidates against Zika virus has been identified. There could be a lead candidate and multiple formulations,” Dr. Altaf Lal, Senior Advisor for Global Health and Innovation at Sun Pharma told The Hindu. “The phytopharmaceuticals are being developed for treating individuals infected with Zika virus and possibly for curing Zika disease.”
These phytopharmaceutical candidates have been isolated from plants found in India.
In the case of chikungunya, Sun Pharma has identified certain chemical entities in-house which would be tested at NIV.
Read further: The Hindu