Skip to main content

The Professor Who Had to Spend Half His Life to Make the Drug India Needs

Sujoy Guha has spent 37 years trying to realise Risug, a long-term use reversible male contraceptive – itself an unusual thing. It should have come to be more than a decade ago.


verything is still the same.
Sujoy Kumar Guha, professor emeritus at IIT-Kharagpur, wakes up around 11 am, reads the paper and thinks of what science can offer as solutions to the big problems of the day. In the evenings he runs his PhD students off their feet with constant demands, yet somehow leaves them itching to do something worthy of him. Around midnight, he takes off for a jog around the handsome campus with a leather belt wrapped around his right palm to fend off the stray dogs. He is still the slight, sprightly, soft-spoken man he was. He still answers questions after a few seconds' silence with a lateral anecdote. He still describes most persons as a "very nice man".
Everything is much the same as in 2002, when the then health minister C.P. Thakur had announced the imminent launchof Guha's drug molecule Risug, a reversible male contraceptive. But the clinical trials were then halted on the charge that Risug was toxic. It took five years for the professor to restart the trials. In 2016, Risug is once again almost ready for its launch at the tail end of the phase III clinical trials that have been "99% successful", according to the ICMR. Only, he was 62 then, he is 76 now. And in the past 14 years have been spent in proving what he had already proved successfully.
"We have completed testing on 282 volunteers in five centres across India, and zero side-effects and difficulties have been reported," said Dr R.S. Sharma, head of Reproductive Biology and Maternal Health at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), in a telephone interview. "I am waiting to reach 300 volunteers and then I will submit Risug for approval to the Drug Controller General of India. It is very unusual, in fact. I have worked on Risug for 25 years and not a single problem has been reported so far."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

''Dynamic Indian of the millenium"

As Member Secretary of CLINICOM, I am so thrilled to post this information here:
''Dynamic Indian of the millenium" award conferred

Coimbatore, Jul 4 (PTI) City-based K G Foundation today conferred the 'Dynamic Indian of the Millennium' award on Arun Madhavan, a former member of Prime Minister's special committee for model village development programme under the 20-point programme.


The award, carrying a citation, was given for his 'distinguished achievements and contribution to society over the years', the foundation chairman G Bhakthavatsalam, said at a function got up as part of the celebrations of World Doctors' Day, here.

Besides being conferred a global recognition for his 'project gateway' for promoting India as an investment destination, Arun had delivered a speech at the United Nationas, Geneva, on 'A New dimension to healthcare,' in 1996, he said. The first recipient of this award was the former president, A P J Abdul K…

Isotretinoin in India: A tragedy in the offing

Isotretinoin in India: A tragedy in the offing
Wednesday, March 28, 2007 08:00 IST 
Seema Thakral

Isotretinoin is the drug of choice for severe calcitrant cystic acne vulgaris, which often causes scarring and depression from disfigurement. Isotretinoin has been called "the greatest medical advance of the 1980's." A majority of patients with acne are permanently cleared after a four to five months course of treatment. It has also been used off-label for a variety of oncology uses including: cervical cancer, head and neck cancer, squamous cell cancer of the skin, juvenile chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), and neuroblastoma. However, the drug is a proved teratogen and carries a significant risk of birth defects, if it taken during pregnancy. Birth defects, which have been documented following isotretinoin exposure include abnormalities of the face, eyes, ears, skull, central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and thymus and parathyroid glands. There is an increased risk …

An important discovery

"Gene therapy strategies will come in with a major cost advantage since DNA interference technology will act at the DNA level at lower doses, reduce toxicity and only one or two copies of the DNA"- Dr Ramanand Nadig
President Operations and  
Deputy Dean 
Clinical Research Education and Management Academy (CREMA)
Genes are segments of DNA present in the chromosomes in the nucleus of every cell. Genes carry instructions for making proteins, which are then copied by special enzymes into many copies of messenger RNA (mRNA). The mRNA then comes out of the nucleus, into the body of the cell; where it goes on to create the proteins needed for everyday life. Faulty or mutated genes lead to malfunctioning proteins that cause disease. Gene expression can be blocked by restricting the ability of chromosomal DNA to be copied into RNA and made into proteins. This research has given the lead wherein the ways to correct genetic disease by changing mutant gene sequences to its normal has been …