The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Laurus Labs to introduce gene therapy assets to the market.
In accordance with the MOA, IIT Kanpur will transfer several gene therapy assets through in-licensing to Laurus Labs, who will provide a research grant to facilitate their progression through pre-clinical development. Laurus Labs will also fund the necessary clinical trials and spearhead the launch of these products not only in India but also in emerging markets. In addition, Laurus Labs will establish a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility at IIT Kanpur’s Techno Park, bolstering the production capabilities of gene therapy products. They will engage in the Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation (CDMO) business for cell and gene therapy, leveraging the capabilities of the GMP facility.
IIT Kanpur’s Department of Biological Sciences and Bioengineering (BSBE) is working on select human health conditions using an interdisciplinary approach, including gene therapy. Their scientists have developed some gene therapy assets along with delivery technologies using Adeno Associated Virus (AAV) vectors.
The AAV-based vectors have emerged as an important component of gene therapy in humans and found greater importance in recent studies. Under the Molecular Genetics and Therapeutics Lab of the BSBE Department at IIT Kanpur, research has been carried out on Gene Therapy for Retinal degeneration due to Leber congenital amarousis, Hemophilia and Muscular dystrophy.
This partnership between IIT Kanpur and Laurus Labs is expected to establish IIT Kanpur’s pioneering role in furthering gene therapy research; while on the other, would enhance Laurus Labs’ presence as a leading company in the promising cell and gene therapy space.