In a major move to combat rising incidence of diabetes in the country, the government on Wednesday inked an agreement with a Hyderabad-based firm to develop medicine to control diabetes and a software to keep tab on diabetics and those vulnerable to the lifestyle disease. The memorandum of agreement (MoA) was inked between the government’s Drug Discovery Research Centre (DDRC) and Revelations Biotech Pvt. Ltd. (RBPL) of Hyderabad in the presence of union Minister of State for Science and Technology Y.S. Chowdary here. ‘Sadly India stands out as the diabetic capital of the world and the continuing increase in incidence of this disease is a cause of serious concern. Diabetes is a gateway to a host of other diseases and hence needs to be checked on its very onset,’ Chowdary said. He added: ‘If we spend Rs.100 for the prevention of a disease then we save around Rs.400 which would otherwise be spent on the curation process.’
DDRC is part of the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, while RBPL is a Hyderabad-based Research and Development Company. The minister stressed upon manufacturing low cost drugs for the masses, with the contribution from the private sector. Department of Bio-technology, Secretary, K. Vijay Raghavan said the DDRC-RBPL collaboration, through two different programmes, will focus on developing a software to keep a tab on diabetics and those vulnerable, and develop a new drug to control it. Raghavan said that a data based software package will not only identify individuals who are becoming susceptible to diabetes but also predict the future course of disease in those who are already diabetic. ‘It is hoped that the advance warning provided by such a system will allow the target individuals to preemptively make appropriate lifestyle alterations so as to mitigate the disease onset and prevent its progression,’ he said.
He added that the second programme is to develop a new drug that will prevent re-absorption of glucose in the kidneys. ‘This re-absorption process contributes to maintain high glycemic levels in diabetics. Inhibition of this process by an effective drug will lead to a significant lowering of blood glucose levels,’ he said. The glycemic is a dedicated index which indicates a food’s effect on a person’s blood sugar level. The annual expenditure for diabetes treatment in India is to the tune of Rs.1.5 lakh crore. Although previously thought to represent a problem of middle-age recently there has been a rapid rise in incidence of diabetes in the youth as well. This is largely due to lifestyle changes where a high calorie diet is coupled with sedentary habits. India is called the diabetes capital of the world with as many as 50 million people suffering from type-2 diabetes.