Bangalore-based biotechnology major Biocon Limited, and Cuba's Centre of Molecular Immunology (CIM), based in Havana, Cuba, have have agreed to jointly undertake an integrated antibody programme in immunology.
Biocon and CIM have in fact been collaborating for almost a decade on an integrated programme to manufacture and clinically evaluate recombinant proteins in a bid to build a portfolio based on therapeutic biotechnology products for chronic diseases.
In a statement, Biocon said, "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".
Under the current agreement, 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, 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.