Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Combating Tuberculosis globally from Bangalore

Bangalore is increasingly becoming a powerhouse in Biotech and Pharma. AstraZeneca the global pharmaceutical major headquartered in the UK. Bangalore is one of the R & D centers for the company, in addition to their centers in Sweden, USA and Japan. The photo was taken at Astra Zeneca's facility in Hebbal.

The company operates in 100 countries, has 65,000 employees, worldwide sales in 2005 totalled $24 billion and an annual R & D budget of US$ 3.4 billion. The pharma major globally focuses on six important areas of healthcare - gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, cancer, respiratory, neurosciences and infection.

Since 2003, Astra Zeneca R & D in their new laboratories in Bangalore, India, have been focusing on finding a new treatment for tuberculosis with an investment of US$ 35 millions over 5 years.

Some important facts:

  • Tuberculosis is the single largest cause of adult death in the world from infectious disease. TB kills 8,000 people a day - that is 2-3 million people every year. Thats more people dying from AIDS or malaria.
  • The medicines now used to treat TB were developed more than forty years ago.
  • More than 70 scientists work in this new centre, including molecular biologists, genetic engineers and chemists.
  • AstraZeneca Research Foundation India as made more than 100 million rupees of Investments in Indian Science and institutions.
  • In India alone 0.5 million people die from TB every year (15-20% of the worlds deaths). Thats more than 1000 every day in India (i.e one every minute). Scary facts!
We need all the money we can get and our own attention to tackle this problem.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's an interesting discussion – and I agree with you.