New-Millenium-InitativeThe ongoing New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMTTLI), being implemented in public-private partnership mode, has scored a number of achievements in different sectors including pharma and biotechnology so far, by developing many new molecules and taking some of them into various stages of trials.

The programme, launched in 2001 and being done under the aegis of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has generated about 100 international patents and 150 publications in peer reviewed journals, official sources said. The achievements, concerning pharma and biotechnology included development of bio-informatics software viz. Bio-Suite, GenoCluster, Bio-SuiteC and Darshee and developing poly herbal formulations for diabetics, arthritis and hepatic disorder.

An anti-psoriasis formulation is in the phase-III clinical while another molecule lysostaphin is in phase-II stage. An anti-tuberculosis molecule has been developed and is going through phase-II clinical trial. Besides, micro-PCR based immuno-diagnostics for detecting eye infections have also been developed under the programme aimed at encouraging research and development by the scientists in the country, sources said.

The programme was meant to identify niche areas where India can gain leadership in about 10-15 years, develop projects involving best brains of the country through a rigorous process, build knowledge network of partners from public funded institutions and private industries, develop new methods of working together for collaborative excellence, focus on proof-of-concept, and to provide a pipeline of cutting edge Indian innovation for conventional technology financing bodies as against the 'usual safe bets'.

NMITLI has so far evolved 57 largely networked projects in diverse areas including plant biotechnology, general biotechnology, bioinformatics, drugs & pharmaceuticals, and chemicals. These projects involve 80 industry partners and 270 R&D groups from different institutions. Approximately 1700 researchers are engaged in these projects. These 57 projects cumulatively have had an outlay of approximately Rs 500 crore.