Hyderabad to have two premier biotech research institutes

Saturday, 09 February 2008, 07:29 Hrs
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Hyderabad: This southern city, one of the pioneers in India's biotechnology sector, will now be home to two premier institutes - Center for Stem Cells Research and National Animal Resource Facility for Biomedical Research.

Vice-President Mohammed Hamid Ansari Thursday laid the foundation stone for the institutes, which will further strengthen the position of Andhra Pradesh and its state capital as the leader in the field of biotechnology.

Ansari laid the foundation at the inauguration of the fifth edition of the Global Bio-business Forum - BioAsia 2008.

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) with an investment of 5 billion is developing the National Animal Resource Facility for Biomedical Research.

The first phase of the project entails an investment of 2.5 billion.

India's first state-of-the-art Center for Stem Cells Research and Therapy Centre is being developed by Center for Stem Cell Sciences (CSCS) with the help of Center for Liver Research and Diagnostics and the government of Andhra Pradesh with an investment of 1.5 billion.

Eminent gastroenterologist C. M. Habibullah, who promoted the CSCS, said the first phase of the project would be completed at a cost of 400 million by March 2009.

The centre will use adult stem cells to provide therapies for ailments relating to liver, pancreas, heart, kidney, bone and cartilage disorders.

He said the stem cells hold the key to replace the cells lost due to accident or disease. Stem cell therapies provide critical inputs with curative properties. As part of the project a 200-bed hospital would be set up.

Habibullah hoped that the centre would become premier stem cell institution in Asia by 2012.

Ansari also inaugurated the Biotechnology Incubation Center - a first of its kind in India. A joint initiative of the government of Andhra Pradesh and the government of India, the centre has come up with an investment of 300 million.

The incubation centre has research and development laboratories, multi-utility plant, analytical and quality control centre and human resource training centre.

Ansari noted that Hyderabad was already home to world-class research facilities like Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) and Institute of Life Sciences.

"The presence of these world-class facilities, several educational institutes, such as the University of Hyderabad, and the presence of innovative industrial entrepreneurs and bright young professionals should make this part of the country an important source of innovation and invention," he said.

Hyderabad, one of the pioneers in India in the biotechnology sector, emerged as a biotechnology hub with the setting up of biotech parks in Genome Valley, a 600 sq km area exclusively for biotech companies.
Source: IANS
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