Applications Invited for BIRAC & DBT Call for Proposals on COVID-19 Therapeutics

Required Skill: 
Last date: 
Saturday, October 31, 2020

Detailed Description

About the Organization:

Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) is a not-for-profit Section 8, Schedule B, Public Sector Enterprise, set up by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India as an Interface Agency to strengthen and empower the emerging Biotech enterprise to undertake strategic research and innovation, addressing nationally relevant product development needs.


The occurrence of COVID-19 elevated intense attention not only within India but internationally however still we do not have fully approved (by US-FDA or CDSCO) medication for treating people infected with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

DBT/BIRAC have already announced two calls, under COVID 19 consortium, inviting proposals in the areas of Vaccines, Therapeutics, Diagnostics and Any other intervention. In continuation, the present call is being announced in the area of Therapeutics.


The scope of this call is to address at least one of the following objectives:

Development of therapeutics to address a rapid response towards the current COVID-19 outbreak: relevant “clinical ready”-assets including approved therapies or compounds in development, which could be repurposed for use in treating patients with the coronavirus
Development of therapeutics to address the current and/or future coronavirus outbreaks: identification of new potential assets and approaches that could be utilised including preventive strategies and combination approaches and could also address potential resistance. This may also include optimisation of promising treatments used in rapid response.


Research proposals with established, robust Proof of Concept i.e. TRL 4 and above (BIRAC website may be visited for TRL definitions) are invited in the following areas

  • Novel molecules
  • Drug repurposing (e.g. but not limited to– antivirals, anthelmintic, antimalaria, anti- Inflammatory, immunomodulatory, anti-RA, anti-hypertensive, anti-coagulants, H2- blockers, protease inhibitors, etc.)
  • Combination therapy for synergistic effects
  • Neutralizing Antibody therapy
  • Hyperimmune Globulin
  • Immunomodulators
  • Recombinant proteins
  • Novel mAbs
  • Repurposed mAbs – (example Tocilizumab)
  • Cell-based products and Gene Therapy products
  • Stem cells such as UCMSC, WJMSC, BMMSC
  • Exosomes and another novel Drug Delivery Systems

Eligibility Criteria

The proposals can be submitted by:

  • Company (Startup, Small, Medium or Large) incorporated under the Companies Act, 2013 having a minimum of 51% of the shares of the Company to be held by Indian Citizens (Indian passport holders), preferably with some (documented) commercially successful track record in the relevant field.
  • Limited liability Partnership (LLP) incorporated under the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008 having a minimum half of the persons who have subscribed their names to the LLP document as its Partners should be Indian citizens.
  • Academia (Public or Private Research Institute, University) having a well-established support system for research. The institute should have been established in India and have NAAC/ UGC/ AICTE or any equivalent recognition certificate or any other Public/ Government supported organization
  • Investigators should have documented strong expertise in the R&D subject matter of the proposed area. Collaborations between institutes and between research and clinical teams are encouraged. Investigators are encouraged to work with hospitals that have access to patients.


The funding will be in the form of Grant-in-Aid.

  • The Grant-in-Aid assistance support (hereafter referred to as Funding) will be subject to pre-acceptance of associated conditions and execution of Grant Agreement as prescribed by BIRAC.
  • The fund allocation into different budget heads and break-up into milestones will be done as per the recommendations of relevant committees.
  • The Recurring cost includes small Equipment, Manpower, Consumables, Travel, Outsourcing towards CMO/ Consultancy, Contingency. The Non-recurring component not to be more than 30% of the total project cost.
  • Outsourcing for activities to international labs may be considered only if the facility to perform the same is not available in India.


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