India invited Research Proposal for Anti- SARS-CoV-2 /nCoV-2 Virus Studies using  Botanical Ingredients and Traditional Formulations

Department of Biotechnology (DBT) & Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) announce  invitation for research proposals by Industry/Academia/ Industry-Academia on COVID-19 pandemic through the application of medicinal and aromatic plants, because  government  facing the the rapid increase in patients of COVID-19 during the last few weeks, which is posing tremendous challenge for the healthcare systems across the the India. Effective strategies for prophylaxis and holistic management are of paramount importance in curtailing the progress of the disease and reducing burden on hospitals.

The occurrence of COVID-19 elevated intense attention not only within India but internationally.  No specific therapeutics is available, and current management includes travel restrictions, lockdown, patient isolation, and supportive medical care. Therefore, there is an urgent need for its management and prevention.

Some traditional medicines appear to be effective in treating viral infection by enhancing the immunity of the body against virus. Also, they are a potential source of antiviral drugs and various bioactive compounds. Randomized clinical trials suggest the possibility to obtain natural product to treat viral infections and its complications from traditional medicinal plants. It is a remarkable effort to isolate active principles from plants with a confirmed antiviral activity that leads to explore their mechanism of action and, lastly, to develop a conventional dosage form design that not only controls viral infections but also reduces the associated complications.

To manage COVID-19 pandemic through the application of medicinal and aromatic plants, project proposals are solicited by Industry/Academia/ Industry-Academia in following research areas:

(a) Development of experimental models for evaluation of anti-viral activity of extracts, fractions and phytochemical constituents from medicinal and aromatic plants

In vitro anti-viral activity (nCoV2, non-infective, pseudo-RNA virus)\

Antiviral (anti-nCoV-2) efficacy in animal model

MTT / PI / CCK8 assay for cell toxicity

(b) Screening of extracts, fractions, phytochemical constituents and traditional formulations from medicinal and aromatic plant against SARS-CoV2

Development of research lead candidates based on screening to take forward towards developing phytopharmaceuticals.

Development of phytopharmaceuticals for prevention, co-administration and mainstay therapy

Development of herbal products for prevention against COVID-19 – Proof-of efficacy, pre-clinical and clinical.

(c) Studies on extracts, fractions and phytochemical constituents from medicinal & aromatic plants

Immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory activity (PBMC, Neutrophils, Th1/Th2 driven T-cell responses, antigen presentation

Effect if any on obesity, diabetes, lung fibrosis and

Drug-drug interaction studies (CYP450 studies)

Essential oils compounds inhibitory to SARS-COV-2 proteins & infections


Further information can be obtained on BIRAC Website: and DBT Website:

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