India and the US have tied up to explore traditional medicine systems like ayurveda in the search for cancer medicines. The two countries signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for exchange of scientists, data and material on a regular basis for research to find complementary and alternative medicines for cancer.
The LoI was signed on 27 October between the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), the apex body in India for undertaking, coordinating, formulating, developing and promoting research in ayurveda under the Ministry of AYUSH, and the Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine (OCCAM), an agency under the US government’s National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The NIH is the largest biomedical research agency in the world and operates under the US Department of Health and Human Services.
In a joint statement issued after the meeting, the four ministers involved — Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper — were quoted as having “applauded the signing of the LoI”.
Reached for comment, AYUSH Ministry Secretary Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha said the collaboration “is a welcome move”. “It opens the door for long-term association in the area of research on AYUSH systems, particularly in the area of cancer prevention and treatments,” he added.
Through the arrangement, India will be able to access the OCCAM’s resources, lectures, conferences, and workshops, the organisation’s expert review on relevant institute-supported projects and programmes, and work on identifying gaps in existing cancer research.
The OCCAM will also collaborate with the CCRAS on work related to preclinical and clinical studies, and help the institute identify key areas where research work can be intensified, including potential cooperative initiatives and research programmes.
Source: The Print