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A press meet was conducted to announce the first of its kind patent awarded on Corneal Limbal Stem Cell work for an Indo-Japan collaborative invention.  This work was jointly accomplished by Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine (a unit of Nichi-In biosciences (P) Ltd) and Vision Research Foundation – Sankara Nethalaya.  The out come of this invention is expected to help corneal epithelial disease patients through out the world by providing a novel technology which will help to grow in the laboratory, the patients own Corneal Limbal Stem Cell without using biological materials such as Human Amniotic Membrane, Collagen gel etc thereby avoiding the risks of contamination of viruses, prions and also rejection being autologous.


L> R: Mr. V. Vaidyanathan, Chairman -Sankara Nethralaya, Dr. S. S. Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya, Mr.Takayuki Kitagawa , Deputy Consul of Japan, Dr. H.N. Madhavan, Director-Vision Research Foundation and Dr. Samuel JK Abraham, Director, Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine, Chennai


Speaking on this invention Dr. H. N. Madhavan, of VRF explained that there are approximately 6000 patients in the registry of Sankara Nethralaya alone who would be benefited by this invention and also added that the total number of such patients all over India would be enormous.  Diseases such as Steven Johnson Syndrome, Persistent corneal ulcer, Chemical and Physical injuries could be addressed using the newly developed technology.  NCRM, an Indo-Japan joint venture institute working on Stem Cells and Nanotechnology since 2000 has bridged the technological gap between Japan and India by bringing in such Nanotechnology polymer science development developed by Prof. Mori and their collaborators in Japan.  With this first step we would like to start working on an Artificial Corneal Prosthesis named as Hybrid Cornea as a small contribution from Nichi-In  towards Vision 2020 by World Health Organization(WHO) said Dr. Abraham, Director NCRM.


Dr. Lingam Gopal,
Medical Research Founation

The Chairman Emeritus of Sankara Nethralaya Dr. S. S. Badrinath lauded the effort of all involved in this research and said that the collaboration with NCRM should further extend into other research areas such as Anterior Chamber of the Eye, Vitreo-retinal Space etc underway in Sankara Nethralaya.  The Chief Guest of the function Honorable Acting Consul General of Japan Mr. Takayuki  Kitagawa appreciated both the teams and said that this invention should lead to Chennai transforming into ‘Philadelpia of India’ in terms of health care research and invention as it has already became the Detroit of India in terms of automobile industry.  Mr. V. Vaidyanathan, Chairman -Sankara Nethralaya, and Lingam Gopal , President-Medical Research Foundation spoke.  
Times of India | Dinamalar | Dinamani| New Indian Express
*"Nichi" stands for Japan and "In" stands for India. This institute started on an Indo-Japan collaboration now has spreaded further with global alliances
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