Just days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced for the making of an Atmanirbhar India (Self-reliant nation), the department of biotechnology constituted the National Biomedical Resource Indigenisation Consortium (N-BRIC) to lead indigenous innovation of the country and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, CMD of Biocon has been appointed to lead the efforts from the front.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, CMD, Biocon
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairman and Managing Director, BioconBy special arrangement

This consortium is being constituted as a result of a public-private partnership (PPP) to develop vaccines, diagnostics, reagents, and therapeutics to combat Covid-19 pandemic. The consortium will be based at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (CCAMP), Bengaluru, an autonomous institute under DBT.

How will N-BRIC contribute to making India self-reliant?

N-BRIC aims to create a self-reliant biotech system with Covid-19 being the starting point to provide biotech solutions beyond the pandemic.

To meet the biotech and biomedical needs of the nation, the N-BRIC will bring together academic, industry, startups, and MSMEs to develop indigenous product development and manufacturing to encompass all required platforms, resources, and facilities.

HIV and Influenza drugs ineffective against COVID-19

On the sidelines, IT and BT Minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan has directed the Department of Biotechnology to constitute an expert committee to coordinate between the startups and the government to find a quick testing technology and vaccine for COVID-19. In his recent visit to the Bioinnovation Centre in Bengaluru, Dr Narayan unveiled the programmable robot developed by S N Life Sciences that will separate saliva from the swab in a matter of no time, with an ability to test eight different samples at a time.

The government has allocated Rs 100 crore from the PM CARES fund to develop a vaccine against coronavirus, and as many 25 vaccine developments are underway across academia, industry and startups, the DBT said.