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Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur licenses gene therapy technology for hereditary diseases


IIT Kanpur licensed the technology to Reliance Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd. and this marks the first time a gene therapy related technology has been developed and transferred from an academic institution to a company in India.

A 3d model of genes in the human body. (Image Credit: AdobeStock/vladimircaribb)

(Image Credit: AdobeStock/vladimircaribb)

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur announced in a press release the institute has licensed a gene therapy technology to Reliance Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd.

This marks the first time in history a gene therapy related technology has been developed and transferred from an academic institution to a company in India. The gene therapy technology from IIT Kanpur will be further developed as an Indigenous Product by Reliance Life Sciences according to the institute.1

According to the press release from the institute, the technology licensing agreement was formally signed between IIT Kanpur and Reliance Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd. at a MoU exchange ceremony in the presence of several dignitaries. Some of these dignitaries included Abhay Karandikar, PhD, Director of IIT Kanpur, and K. V. Subramaniam, MBA, PhD, Licensee & President of Reliance Life Sciences.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with IIT Kanpur to further develop this important technology,” said Subramaniam in the press release. “Reliance Life Sciences is a research-driven, medical biotechnology company and we are thrilled to collaborate and take forward this innovative technology to commercialization.”

The patented technology was developed by Jayandharan Giridhara Rao, PhD, and Shubham Maurya, PhD, from the Department of Biological Sciences and Bioengineering (BSBE), IIT Kanpur and “modifies the gene of an organism to treat a hereditary disorder.”

IIT Kanpur states the “technology modifies a location to optimize its ability to deliver genes to the affected cells and improve its effectiveness,” and that the technology has the ability to “improve gene therapy for many hereditary diseases, especially inherited eye diseases.”

"IIT Kanpur is committed to developing impactful technologies in the field of healthcare, and we are delighted to see the licensing of this gene therapy technology to Reliance Life Sciences," said Karandikar. “Gene therapy using viral vectors has recently emerged as a potent tool in the field of molecular medicine. We believe that this technology holds great promise for treating a wide range of hereditary eye diseases including Leber congenital amaurosis, an eye disorder that is present from birth; and Retinitis pigmentosa, a disease causing progressive sustained vision loss.”

  1. IIT Kanpur Pioneers Ground-Breaking Gene Therapy Technology for Hereditary Eye Diseases. Press Release. IIT Kanpur; June 7, 2023. Accessed June 8, 2023. https://www.newswise.com/articles/iit-kanpur-pioneers-ground-breaking-gene-therapy-technology-for-hereditary-eye-diseases
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