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Call for Proposals: COVID-19 Therapeutics by BIRAC & DBT, Govt. of India: Submit by Oct 31: Expired


The Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt. of India invite proposals from prospective principal investigators for the COVID-19 Therapeutics.

Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) is a not-for-profit state-owned enterprise under the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India to strategically empower emerging biotech companies.

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) is an Indian government department, under the Ministry of Science and Technology responsible for administrating development and commercialization in the field of modern biology and biotechnology in India. It was set up in 1986.


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 “clinically 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 utilized including preventive strategies and combination approaches and could also address potential resistance. This may also include the optimization 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. The fund allocation into different budget heads and break-up into milestones will be done as per the recommendations of relevant committees.
  3. 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.
  4. Outsourcing for activities to international labs may be considered only if the facility to perform the same is not available in India.
Project Duration

Up to 24 Months given the urgency of the global health situation unless SAG/ Apex recommends more than 24 months considering the requirements of the project in the rare exceptional scenarios.

Evaluation Criteria

The proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Scientific Merit
  • The technical strength of the proposal
  • Clarity of technical strategy
  • Innovation level
  • Investigator’s Credentials and/ or collaborative team’s expertise.
Call for Proposals

Interested candidates can submit their proposals online by clicking here.

Applicants should fill-up and submit their applications early honoring the established deadline, without waiting for the last date in order to avoid any last-minute contingencies/ clogging of the website. The system stops accepting applications automatically at midnight of the last date of receipt of application.

Applicants are advised to provide sufficient details in their applications to allow for an informed and fair evaluation/ review process. Applicants are advised to provide self-contained proposals with essential supporting materials. The last date to submit your proposals is October 31, 2020.


For full notification, click the link below.

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Call for Proposals: COVID-19 Therapeutics by BIRAC & DBT, Govt. of India




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