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Tuesday, Oct 21, 2003

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SASTRA ties up with pharma company, DST

Our Bureau

Chennai , Oct. 20

THE Thanjavur-based Shanmugha Arts, Science, Technology and Research Academy (SASTRA) has entered into a collaboration with a pharmaceutical company and the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, to evaluate a herbal medicine for management of rheumatoid arthritis, according to a press release from the academy.

SASTRA, a deemed university, has signed an MoU with Citadel Fine Pharmaceuticals, Chennai, and the Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Division of the DST, for the scientific evaluation of safety and efficacy profile of a herbal siddha formulation (Kodiveli) in the management of rheumatoid arthritis, the release said.

Quoting Dr Laxman Prasad, Director, Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Division, DST, the release said that the agreement was a unique effort between a research institution, industry and the Government to standardise a herbal medicine. The DST had invited proposals for such partnership in 1994 for manufacturing siddha medicines, and SASTRA was the first to respond, the release said.

DST will contribute Rs 64.76 lakh and Citadel Rs 35.24 lakh for the Rs 1-crore project. Citadel has the expertise to test for toxicity and mutagenic and carcinogenic potential of siddha formulations according to the World Health Organisation norms.

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