Indo-Japan cancer therapy tie-up

Staff Reporter

Joint venture will also pursue research on genetic solutions to HIV infected

CHENNAI: Chennai based Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM), an Indo-Japan joint venture firm, has signed an agreement for a technical collaboration with Tokyo based Biotherapy Institute of Japan (BIJ) to provide cell therapeutics to cancer patients and to pursue research on genetic solutions to those afflicted with HIV.

Importantly, the collaboration could pave the way for bringing to blood cancer patients in Chennai and elsewhere a less expensive alternative to bone marrow transplants through the Autologous Immune Enhancement Therapy (AIET) in addition to other lines of immuno therapies for various forms of cancer.

"The agreement will foster exchange of information, personnel and scientific data based on the MoU to deliver AIET in India for several cancer patients as well as perform collaborative research in further fine-tuning cell therapies for the benefit of HIV patients as well," said NCRIM director, Samuel Abraham.

One of the NCRM's research ambitions is to make available the therapy in the range of Rs. one lakh, which is around one-tenth of a conventional bone marrow transplant. It is also looking at exploiting umbilical cord blood, which is a rich source of hemopoietic stem cells (which multiply into blood cells). The AIET also enables multiplication of natural killer cells, dentritic cells and cytotoxic T Lymphocytes which are mandated with war on viruses and tumour cells.

BIJ has two state of the art facilities in Tokyo employing more than 40 scientists in delivering AIET to patients across Japan. Hiroshi Terunuma, a cell biologist turned immunologist and technical director of BIJ and Dr. Samuel Abraham would be in-charge of the project in Japan and India respectively.

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