Sun Pharma announced that Dr. Anil Koul, Director, CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology (CSIR-IMTech), Chandigarh as the winner of the 2017 ‘Sun Pharma Science Foundation Award’ (also known as ‘Ranbaxy Research Award) for his role indiscovery and development of a novel drug against resistant Tuberculosis- SIRTUROTM. Dr. Koul’s candidature for this award was selected among several nominationsby an independent committee comprising of world-renowned scientists.The award ceremonywas held on 28th April 2017 at India Habitat Center presided by the Honorable Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Shri Jagat Prakash Nadda. Also present at this event was the Chief Guest, Prof. Mike Turner, Head- Infection and Immunology, Wellcome Trust, UK, the world’s second-largest private funding agency for biomedical research. Several other luminaries from academia and Industry attended the event. This award recognized the work done over last several years that went into the discovery and development of SIRTUROTM, generically also called as Bedaquiline. On this occasion, Dr Koul said “It is an honor to receive an award of this stature and to be recognized for your efforts towards issues of the global public health”.
India accounts for over 480,000 tuberculosis deaths annually which amounts to 27% of the global disease burden. SIRTURO belongs to a new drug class with a new mechanism of action – blocking bacterial energy production. This is the first new drug in last 45 years to be discovered for treatment of drug-resistant TB and is approved in US, Europe and several other countries. In 2015, Indian Government approved SIRTUROTM for conditional use in patients with drug-resistant TB. Till date, several thousand drug-resistant TB patients across the world have received SIRTUROTM. “Anil’s contributions in fundamental science and its translation into new TB drug will help millions of patients”, said Prof. Arun Grover, Vice Chancellor, Panjab University and founder President, Chandigarh Region Innovation and Knowledge Cluster (CRIKC). Dr. Koul’s joining as Director, CSIR-IMTECH has added strength to the activities under the aegis of CRIKC.
Dr. Koul, previously, served as Senior-Director at Johnson and Johnson and is an expert in pharma drug-discovery researchand has over 30 patents to his credit.”Dr. Koul’s work on tuberculosis and associated new drug discoveries for other infections will help India tackling the menace of antimicrobial resistance”, said Dr. Behera, Head of the Pulmonary Division of PGIMER (Chandigarh).
Prior to this, Dr. Koul has received many accolades including ‘Swiss-TB Prize’ conferred by Switzerland’s Society of Pneumology and was invited to European Parliament to present to members of Europe-India Chamber of Commerce. He is also a member of the United Nation’s STOP TB program.
Dr. Koul’s focus for CSIR-IMTECH is on novel drugs/products that will meet India’s challenges in health care sector, and will provide new skill development opportunities as well as align the R&D Programme with our national goals and objectives.