Toronto: Researchers from India and Canada have come together to form an international malaria research consortium to develop novel classes of drugs against the deadly disease.
The consortium, funded by the International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada and the Indian government`s Department of Biotechnology, is working on new anti-malarial approaches including slow-release therapies and, drug and delivery combination approaches that specifically target a form of malaria that can lay dormant in the liver.
Research teams from three academic institutions and two private sector companies are part of the consortium. Participating organisations include: the University Health Network/University of Toronto (which will lead the Canadian side of the consortium), Therapure Biopharma, Lifecare Innovations, the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (consortium lead in India), and the Birla Institute of Technology and Science.
"In addition to developing new therapeutics, we are also bringing together existing technologies developed by the partners and combining them in new ways such that one will have the potential to boost the effectiveness of another," said Lakshmi P Kotra, director at the Centre for Molecular Design and Preformulations at the University Health Network and University of Toronto.
"It was a fascinating process to see different organisations with deep knowledge in their individual fields coming together and combining this knowledge to create innovative and new approaches to the treatment of this disease," said Virander Chauhan, Director, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in New Delhi.