by LAUREN CODLING
AN INDIAN governing science body and a leading UK charity announced the launch of a collaborative project last week in which they hope to develop low-cost cancer treatment.
India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Cancer Research UK unveiled the proposal in which they will launch a five-year collaborative initiative which is expected to focus on low cost approaches to cancer treatment.
Nick Grant, the executive director of international partnerships at the charity, said the organisation was delighted to be working with the Indian government on a joint research initiative.
“Globally, there is a growing challenge with how affordable cancer prevention and care is – both of which are key to increasing cancer survival,” Grant explained.
“By bringing together leading researchers from both countries, we hope to gain insights that will lead to the development of new, affordable approaches to cancer prevention, early diagnosis and treatment.”
The announcement was made on the day India’s prime minister Narendra Modi visited the Francis Crick Institute in London with UK prime minister Theresa May to meet scientists who are helping to develop treatment for diseases such as cancer and malaria.
While at the medical centre, the leaders met members of staff and students before visiting laboratories to learn more about the progression being made.
Accompanying the leaders throughout their visit included the Crick chief operation officer Sam Barrell; board member and CEO of Cancer Research UK, Sir Harpal Kumar; board member Lord Willetts; director of research Sir Richard Treisman; and chief financial officer Stéphane Maikovsky.
The leaders were greeted by 29 Indian members of staff and students, before visiting the Charlie Swanton laboratory to learn about the lung and kidney studies that were being conducted.
Following this, they were led to scientist Mike Blackman lab where they were informed about the growing problem concerning drug resistant malaria and how Blackman was also outlining targets for new treatments.
Barrell said that it was a “real honour” to present the Crick scientists “amazing” work to the prime ministers. “The Crick is a unique partnership between government, charity, academia and industry, which attracts leading scientists from around the world. It is a real privilege to showcase our collaborative research on an international stage,” the chief operation officer said.