KSIDC to set up bio-park with focus on cancer therapy

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on February 04, 2018

Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) proposes to establish a bio-park here to develop advanced therapeutics for cancer and other diseases.

KSIDC would partner with SciGenom of the US and the University of Toronto, Canada, to set up the joint venture facility, an official spokesperson said.

Christy Fernandez, Chairman, KSIDC, announced the project while speaking at an international symposium on the “Development of advanced biologics for the treatment of human diseases’ held here last week.

Leveraging genomics

SciGenom, a genomics research and development company, will the lead promoter of the new venture. Leveraging genomics with superior antibodies will help enable personalised medicine in India, said Sam Santhosh, Chairman, SciGenom.

Even as facilities in the ₹200-crore bio-park are being set up here, its operations will kick off from April at the SciGenom’s facilities in the Special Economic Zone at Kochi.

This would be a crucial step that enables Kerala to leapfrog into a leadership position in the discovery and development of advanced biologics, Fernandez said. Scientists from US, Canada, Germany, Singapore and India attended the symposium.

‘Leadership position’

It brainstormed solutions that would address the needs of the state and the country. Head & neck cancer is the most prevalent cancer in India but effective drugs are not available, which the new venture will address.

Other areas of focus would be inflammatory diseases, anti-snake venom, or diseases such as dengue and chicken guinea. University of Toronto will contribute antibodies screened through the ‘phage display’ platform developed by Sachdev Sidhu.

Brenda Andrews of the University of Toronto, member of the governing council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, said that she was happy that this technology can be deployed to address the large unmet medical needs in India.

Published on February 04, 2018

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