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  • Biocon and CIM to Collaborate in Immunology Research Program

    Published on September 27, 2010

    Bangalore, Karnataka, India– Biocon Limited (NSE: BIOCON), Asia’s premier biotechnology companies, and the Center of Molecular Immunology (CIM), based in Havana, Cuba, have strengthened their existing research partnership by joining forces for an integrated antibody program in immunology. Both entities have successfully collaborated for almost a decade on an integrated program to manufacture and clinically evaluate recombinant proteins with the aim of building a portfolio based on therapeutic biotechnology products for chronic diseases. Two drugs have already been approved for medical use in India and other territories. A novel monoclonal antibody targeting the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor for the treatment of cancer, and the human recombinant Erythropoietin – for the control of anemia in chronic kidney diseases – were developed under stringent medical regulatory standards.

    Looking to build on this successful partnership, Biocon and CIM are moving to create an innovative product pipeline focused on autoimmune diseases and cancer. Fundamental research performed at CIM and Biocon has defined the anti-inflammatory capacity of a novel monoclonal antibody, an Anti-CD6 Monoclonal Antibody. This molecule targets lymphocytes, the key players in the immuno-pathology of autoimmune diseases. Experimental data supports its effect in controlling inflammation that can cause damage of tissues. Research results have been endorsed by scientific journals and discussed in international congresses.

    “This Anti-CD6 targeting antibody is a First in Class molecule which has recently transited to advanced clinical trials for the treatment of Psoriasis and Rheumatoid Arthritis patients,” says Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairman and Managing Director of Biocon Limited. Consequently, a bi-national translational research workshop on this pioneering targeted therapy was organised in Bangalore on September 26 and 27, 2010. Scientists and clinicians from various institutions from both countries gathered to discuss this novel molecule.

    This meeting played an important role in dissecting the intellectual challenges that lie ahead at the interplay of laboratory science and the clinical setting, a critical step linked to drug discovery. The deliberations also explored whether the current experience could be extended to other potential medical indications.

    “In the long run, it would contribute to the joint development of a scientific program based on Biocon’s and CIM’s complementary capacities. Consequently, this South-South scientific and commercial partnership will continuously provide accessibility to a high standard of therapeutics to a growing population of patients who would otherwise be precluded because of the high cost factor,” says Dr. Enrique Montero, a leading scientist at CIM.