tory, and eventually with Motorola and Hewlett-Packard companies, to develop and manufacture biochips that can detect the presence of harmful pathogens— particularly pathogens affecting patients in hospitals. Such biochips have been of interest to international companies for several decades, but the institute was able to add technological innovations to ongoing efforts at the Argonne laboratory that became commercially interesting. Biochips produced by the institute are now used in Russian hospitals to help identify the causes of various illnesses. (See Box 4-1.) However, large multinational firms continue to dominate markets throughout the world.
Taking yet another approach, in the early 2000s, the Department of State (DOS) decided to support several Russian institutions that seemed to have potential for manufacturing products that would be accepted in Russian markets and in markets of neighboring countries. Continuation of research and development activities initially financed by the United States at the institutions was the objective. The program began with a number of educational seminars and training programs. DOS then expanded on these activities as it launched the BioIndustry Initiative discussed in Appendix C.1. Box 4-2 sets forth an important comment by a director of a major Russian institute on the significance of this initiative. This activity helped his institute obtain recognition for Good Laboratory Practices and Good Manufacturing Practices, as a prelude for profitable production of several lines of drugs.
Turning to outreach activities of well-established Russian research institutes, the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology in Moscow has developed kits for detecting and characterizing the presence of a variety of diseases, at times with support from U.S. partners (Box 4-3). There are other commercialization successes flowing from joint U.S.-Russian efforts. In some cases, the Russian Foundation for the Support of Small Innovative Firms (the Bortnik Fund) has helped facilitate entry into important markets for joint undertakings.
But overall, the number of profitable commercial ventures with long-term
Biochips for Identifying Causative Agents of Serious Diseases
With funding from four U.S. and three Russian organizations, the Engel-hardt Institute of Molecular Biology developed an assay that takes 18 hours in contrast to the standard 6–10 weeks. The technology can be used to assess causative agents of TB and MDR-TB, HIV, hepatitis B and C, influenza, and other important diseases.
SOURCE: Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology, 2011.