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New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative
        Under the auspices of Government of India, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research has launched a scheme entitled “New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative” (NMITLI) that seeks to realize the vision of developed India in Science and Technology. The scheme envisages to support innovation centered scientific & technological developments as a vehicle to attain for the country a global leadership position at least in some selected niche areas. Ayurveda is one such niche area that needs to be developed in the modern context of evidence based medicinal system.

        Wide-ranging and widespread national consultations, followed by stringent and rigorous system of screening, expert evaluation and assessment has identified ‘Herbal based preparations for degenerative metabolic disorders’ as one of the NMITLI projects. Thereafter, through inputs from experts in the area, a detailed project on ‘arthritis’ was evolved involving several national institutions and pharma industries. This project will be completed over a 4-year period beginning 2002.

        The primary focus in the NMITLI ARTHRITIS project is to develop Ayurvedic herbal-based preparations for treatment of OA, with special reference to pain relief, better quality of life and chondroprotection.

        The research model envisages concurrent pharmacological and clinical development to achieve quality-standardized product, define mechanism of action, identify active principles, document safety and demonstrate clinically significant efficacy. The clinical drug trial evaluations would begin along with animal and other bench studies- a truly reverse pharmacology paradigm fuelled by historical and authoritative Ayurvedic knowledge of medicinal use spanning thousands of years. However, clinical and all other evaluations would be performed as per state-of-the art protocols using modern medicine science and concepts. Well designed and appropriately powered scientific experiments and explorations, and rigorous drug testing and clinical trials will steer the development and progress step-wise to ultimately finalize the final formulation of the herbal medicine for OA Knees. These herbal formulations will be compared to the known modern medicines in current use.

        Core set measures of efficacy of therapeutic interventions in OA knees, that are globally accepted, will be used. While preparing protocols and other related documents, reference will be made to the guidelines issued by the American College of Rheumatology, US FDA, WHO and OMERACT

        A minor component of this project will also evaluate some promising Ayurvedic medicines for treatment of active RA. CRD Pune is the principle clinical investigation & co-ordination center for this project. Other clinical centers are AIIMS (Delhi), KEM hospital (Mumbai), SPARK (Mumbai) and NIMS (Hyderabad). Besides, CRD interacts with several national facilities like RRL (Jammu), NIBR (Lucknow), ARI (Pune), IRSHA (Pune), etc., to collate & interpret data leading to validated standardized Ayurvedic medicines for treatment of OA knees.
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