02 Nov 2012, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
New Delhi: In an innovative approach to spread awareness about the need for researching new drugs for TB, OSDD, India's Open Source Drug Discovery initiative along with Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous body under the Department of Science and Technology have called for video entries based on the theme, 'The need for TB drugs'.
The theme is in line with OSDD's efforts towards finding an effective cure for diseases such as TB and malaria. The video can be of a duration of maximum five minutes. OSDD is a growing movement which has of late gained traction with scientists worldwide, with organizations such as Infosys, ICGEB, IGIB, IMTECh, JNU,HP, University of Cambridge, Sun Microsystems and more partnering in this inspiring initiative.
Initiated in September 15, 2008, it is the brain child of Dr Samir Brahmachari, DG CSIR, India. Recent newspaper reports suggested that CSIR is getting set to conduct clinical trials for one of the candidate drugs for TB this year. OSDD is supported by direct funding from the Government of India, to the tune of $12 million (Rs46 crore) with an overall project outlay of about $46 million.
Anyone above the age of 18 can enter this competition, including students who are currently studying in various educational institutes. The participants can either upload the video, on the most widely used platform for videos in the world, Youtube, and then send its URL along with the entry form; or send the video as an email attachment to the authorities. Additionally a DVD/CD of the video can also be sent to the given address by mail.
Cash prizes will be given for the first, second and third place winners as well as 20 merit prizes will be distributed. Deadline for sending in the videos closes on November 26,2012. The entry form as well as the additional information is available at the OSDD website.
On receiving the entries, all of them would be made available in public domain on Youtube, thus helping create awareness about the need for new TB drugs. The awards will be presented to the winners at the Indian Science Congress 2013. The invitation stated that a jury of national eminence will select the winner, who will be awarded a cash prize.
TB is a curable infection that affects more than two billion people across the globe annually, claiming almost 1.4 million lives. It is estimated that TB claims one life every 20 seconds around the globe. In India alone, over 1000 lives succumb to TB everyday (two deaths every three minutes). The emergence of drug resistant cases of TB, and lack of any new drugs since the past 60 years, demands the discovery of more effective and novel drugs.