Ayurveda for treating Covid-19 patients? India, US to initiate joint clinical trials

  • Clinical trials for Ayurvedic formulations against Covid-19 will begin in India and the United States
  • To address the coronavirus-related challenges, the IUSSTF called for supporting joint research and initiation commitments

Washington: Ayurvedic practitioners and researchers in India and the United States plan to start joint clinical trials for Ayurveda formulations against the new coronavirus, the Indian envoy said here. In a virtual interaction with a group of eminent Indian-American scientists, academics, and doctors on Wednesday, the Indian ambassador to the United States, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, said the vast network of institutional engagements has brought together scientific communities between the two countries in the fight against COVID -19.

“Our institutions have also been collaborating to promote Ayurveda through joint research, teaching and training programs. Ayurvedic practitioners and researchers in both countries plan to start joint clinical trials of Ayurvedic formulations against COVID-19, “said Sandhu.

“Our scientists have been exchanging knowledge and research resources on this front,” he said.

The Indo-American Scientific Technology Forum (IUSSTF) has always been instrumental in promoting excellence in science, technology and innovation through collaborative activities. To address the challenges related to COVID-19, the IUSSTF called for support of the joint research and implementation commitments. Experts on both sides are reviewing a large number of proposals in fast-track mode, he said.

“Indian pharmaceutical companies are world leaders in the production of affordable medicines and vaccines at low cost and will play an important role in the fight against this pandemic,” said Sandhu.

According to the ambassador, there are at least three ongoing collaborations between Indian vaccine companies with institutions based in the United States. These collaborations would be beneficial not only for India and the US, but also for the billions that would need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 worldwide, he noted.

Claiming that innovation will be the key driver in pandemic response and recovery, he said that tech companies and startups have already begun to take the lead in this direction.

“Telemedicine and telehealth will evolve like other digital platforms in all sectors,” he said.

Noting that there has been a long-standing collaboration between India and the United States in the health sector, he said that scientists have been working together on various programs to understand important diseases at the basic and clinical level. Many of these programs have focused on translational research to develop new therapies and diagnoses.

There are more than 200 ongoing NIH-funded projects in India that involve 20 institutions in the NIH network and several eminent institutions in India involved in a wide spectrum of research areas to create healthcare solutions, said the senior diplomat.

Collaboration under the Vaccine Action Program (VAP) resulted in the development of the ROTAVAC vaccine against the rat virus that causes severe diarrhea in children. The vaccine was developed by an Indian company (Bharat Biotech) at an affordable cost. It has been marketed and entered into the Expanded Program on Immunization. The development of many other vaccines like TB, Influenza, Chikungunya are also in progress under the VAP, he said.

“As I speak, the VAP meeting is in progress where experts from both countries are deeply involved in technical discussions to accelerate the development of the COVID-19 vaccine,” Sandhu said in his comments.

During the interaction, eminent experts appreciated India’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and offered their valuable suggestions and best practices in this regard. They shared their thoughts on deepening the knowledge partnership between India and the United States.

The experts who participated in the interaction were drawn from a wide range of fields including artificial intelligence, quantum information science, biomedical engineering, robotics, mechanical engineering, earth and ocean science, virology, physics, astrophysics, and science. Of the health.

Among those who attended the virtual interaction were Professor Subhash Kak Regents at Oklahoma State University, Dr. Vijay Kuchroo, Professor Samuel L Wasserstrom of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Ashish M Kamat, Professor of Urology at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Ashutosh Chilkoti, Alan L Kaganov Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Chairman of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University; and Professor Manu Prakash, professor in the Bioengineering Department at Sandford University, among others.

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