The primary mandate of the Institute is to use the tools of modern biology/ microbial technologies to develop industrial processes / products. Towards this, scientists of the Institute have made many valuable contributions. Several of these have been licenced as technologies to industrial users and some are in actual commercial usage. IMTECH made a foray into technology development early on its establishment.
CONTRIBUTIONS IN HEALTH CARE AREA BY IMTECH, CHANDIGARH
The Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH) has been working, for the past many years, on a sharply focused mega-programme on development of blood clot dissolving agents (thrombolytics). An increasing number of people are now suffering from heart disease or coronary heart disease world-wide, and specially in India which accounts for more than 25% of the affected population. The cause of death is the development of a blood clot (thrombus) that causes vascular blockage. Death can be prevented by timely intervention by intravenous administration of a suitable thrombolytic agent. In India the mortality rate is very high due to non-availability of affordable thrombolytic agents in the requisite time frame, normally within 6 hours of the onset of a heart attack. The drugs commonly used for therapy are tissue plasminogen activator, urokinase and streptokinase.
It was due to this reason that the Institute planned to work in this area very aggressively, more particularly on developing a process for streptokinase production. The current Indian market for these thrombolytics is estimated to be over Rs.1 billion, of which streptokinase alone accounts for 80% of the demand. By some estimates, the market for thrombolytics in India is growing at over 25% annually.