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IPA asks for funds to boost innovation

The Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance has urged Niti Aayog and the Department of Pharmaceuticals to establish a large fund to further technological innovation in pharma and healthcare startups. The research body also asked the government to boost its investment share in private sector R&D to 35% from the current 25% by allocating more funds to R&D projects in life sciences and startups. The pharmaceutical industry expects measures like Biotechnology Ignition Grant Scheme (BIG) that provides assistance of up to US$ 5 million to biotech startups to establish and validate proofs-of-concept and to enable the creation of spin-offs.

It was also pointed out that neighbours like China have allocated US$ 12 billion for drug development in 2010-15. Further, China initiated the Thousand Talents Program a decade ago that roped in Chinese scientists from external research institutes, mostly from the US. This helped spur its research effort in the life sciences segment.