COVID-19 Update: India and US planning to initiate joint clinical trials for Ayurveda

Ayurvedic practitioners and researchers in India and the US intend to initiate joint clinical trials for Ayurveda formulations from the novel coronavirus, the Indian envoy here has said.

In a digital interaction with a group of eminent Indian-American scientists, academicians, and physicians in Wednesday, Indian Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu said the huge network of institutional engagements have brought scientific communities involving the two countries together in the fight against COVID-19.

“Our Institutions have also been working to market Ayurveda through joint study, training and teaching programs. Ayurvedic practitioners and researchers in both the countries are planning to initiate joint clinical trials of anti inflammatory formulations against COVID-19,” Sandhu said.

“Our scientists have now already been exchanging knowledge and research tools on this front,” he explained.

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To address COVID-19-related challenges, the IUSSTF had given a call to support joint research and startup engagements. Many proposals are being reviewed on fast track manner by the specialists on both the sides, he said.

“Indian pharmaceutical companies are global leaders in producing affordable low-cost drugs and drugs and also will play an essential part in the fight against this pandemic,” Sandhu said.

According to the ambassador, you will find at least three continuing collaborations between Indian drug firms with US-based institutions.

These collaborations would be beneficial not only to India and the US, but also for the countless who would need to get vaccinated from COVID-19 throughout the world, he noted.

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Asserting that innovation will be the primary driver in pandemic response and restoration, he stated tech-companies along with start-ups have begun to take the lead in this direction.

“Telemedicine and telehealth will evolve as will other electronic platforms across sectors,” he said.

Noting that there was longstanding collaboration between India and US in health sector, he said scientists are working together in several applications to comprehend important diseases in basic and clinical level.

Many such applications are concentrated on translational research to create new therapeutics and diagnostics.

There are over 200 ongoing NIH funded projects in India between 20 institutions from NIH community and lots of distinguished associations in India participated in a broad spectrum of research areas to create healthcare options, the senior diplomat said.

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The collaboration under Vaccine Action Program (VAP) led to evolution of ROTAVAC vaccine from rota virus which causes acute diarrhea in children.

The vaccine was developed by an Indian firm (Bharat Biotech) in an inexpensive price.

Development of several different vaccines such as TB, Influenza, Chikungunya are also in advance under the VAP, he explained.

“As I speak, the VAP assembly is in progress where experts from both states are deeply engaged in technical discussions to expedite growth of COVID-19 vaccine,” Sandhu stated in his remarks.

During the interaction, the distinguished experts appreciated India’s handling of their COVID-19 pandemic and provided their valuable suggestions and best practices in this respect.

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They discussed their ideas on broadening the understanding partnership between India and the US.

The experts, who took part in conversation, were drawn from broad fields including artificial intelligence, quantum information science, biomedical technology, robotics, mechanical engineering, earth and ocean science, virology, physics, and astrophysics, and health sciences.

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