CCMB Gets CSIR Award For Bio Sciences & Tech

Hyderabad: | Updated: Sep 30 2003, 05:30am hrs
The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, has bagged the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) award for biological sciences and technology 2003. It was awarded to CCMB for generating the first transgenic Drosophila, commonly known as fruitfly, expressing human tumour suppressor gene and using this system to screen potential anti-cancer agents.

The whole organism approach helps in identifying drugs with increased specific activity and decreased toxicity.

The award was conferred to Dr LS Shashidhara for his leadership in developing such technologies at CCMB.

Till recently, the mouse was a natural choice as a model system to study human physiology, biochemistry, study diseases etc. CCMBs transgenic fly system is available for use by any pharmaceutical company to validate potential drugs against cancer.

With the increasing costs involved in using mice, alternate genetic model systems will be useful in drug discovery programmes as an intermediate between invitro cell culture system and transgenic mice clinical trials.

Besides drug discovery programmes, it has a number of attractive features such as low cost maintenance in laboratory, short life cycle etc.

Its short life cycle allows the study of toxic effects of drugs over a number of generations, said the scientists. In addition to this, CCMB is also developing new drug screening systems for specific diseases or targets of interest to pharmaceutical companies, according to CCMB scientists.