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NIDDK, Indian Scientists Launch Joint Diabetes Studies

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases will partner with the Indian Council of Medical Research in a study of the underlying causes of diabetes, including molecular and genetic factors involved in the disease, as part of a larger medical research agreement between the two countries.

The agreement between the US Department of Health and Human Services and India's Ministries of Health and Family Welfare and of Science and Technology last week inked a plan to team on biomedical research and public health projects, including the international diabetes project.

NIDDK said in a recent statement that the partners may study why people of South Asian origin develop diabetes at a lower body mass index and waist circumference than people of other ethnic origins.

"Both the United States and India have a vested interest in improving our understanding of and treatment for diabetes, and in finding economical ways to do both," NIDDK Director Griffin Rodgers said in a statement. "Initiating this research relationship will enable both countries to share expertise and engage each other in research to lessen the burden of diabetes – in the US, India, and around the world."

The US and Indian partners in the multipart studies will identify genetic and environmental factors and pathogenic mechanisms that are involved in the development of diabetes. They also plan to develop new diagnostic tools and to identify people who are at increased risk of developing the disease and complications.

The cooperation will include increased collaborative research projects, focused requests for applications and proposals, exchange of investigators and of scientific information, and the establishment of a steering committee to evaluate and monitor the program. It will span basic, clinical, and translational research efforts.

Under the agreement, any patentable intellectual property developed through this work that is created by a sole participant in the project will be owned by that participant, and patents resulting from joint creations will be owned jointly. IP rights may be worked out through mutual agreements on a case-by-case basis.

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