Bangalore-based Himalaya Drug Company, which has pioneered the contemporization of Ayurveda through the use of scientific research, recently signed an MoU with the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore (UAS, B) to facilitate collaborative research on medicinal herbs and plants with a view to discovering new therapeutic drugs, building a corpus of knowledge on herbs and preserving endangered herbs and plants.
Himalaya will study herbs and plants in specific regions to understand therapeutic benefits and differences in therapeutic properties of herbs across regions; prepare joint research projects; while UAS will assist in training of farmers to promote better agricultural practices, study and documentation of rare, endangered herbs; facilitate joint research projects on tissue culture of rare and endangered herbs and assist Himalaya in setting up a herb garden that will be a centre for national and international research activities.
In addition, UAS will provide training to farmers under Himalaya’s contract farming Programme, assist Himalaya in setting up a botanical garden which would serve as a centre for national and international research activities and provide technical assistance and education to Himalaya scientists as the company moves towards its process of organic certification.
Dr S K Mitra, Executive Director (R&D), The Himalaya Drug Company said, “With the world moving towards all things natural, herbal health care is being embraced like never before. The possibility of discovering remedies through augmented botanical research that will help people live richer, fuller and healthier lives is surely something to look forward to.”
“UAS is one of the country’s most revered research institutions and is equipped with the necessary skills and facilities to assist Himalaya in its research. The partnership will facilitate knowledge transfer, resource sharing, training and exchange of ideas. The focus will be on taking research out of the lab and into the market. We believe this collaboration will help us take research on herbs and plants to new levels,” added Dr Mitra.
Responding, Dr Chengappa, Vice Chancellor, UAS, said, “UAS and Himalaya share a common passion for scientific study and research of herbs. Through this partnership we would like to promote research that will have practical application – either in the way of developing new products or promoting better farming practices, or adding to the knowledge system of herbs and plants. It also opens up opportunities for our students to engage with a company involved in advanced herbal research and understand what drives research and development outside of an academic environment.”
“Our partnership with Himalaya is a step towards fostering greater collaboration between industry and university with the objective of making research more result-driven and effective,” said Dr T K Prabhakara Setty, director of research, UAS.
As part of the agreement, the scientific representatives of Himalaya and UAS will regularly review the findings and results, perform critiques and make plans and recommendations. The research findings will be tried on farmers’ fields through farm trials and demonstrations with the active participation of UAS and Himalaya’s agro-technology division. Research findings, as a result of this collaborative work, will be published in journals with joint authorship.