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Nichi-In Centre (NCRM) Tie up with Astec Inc., Japan
Advanced research in and anti-aging treatment using stem cells & NK cells
Development and standardization of gadgets for zero gravity cell culture

Fukuoka, 01 June 2009:
The Chennai based Indo-Japan joint venture institute NCRM (Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine) signed a MoU with Astec Inc, Fukuoka, Japan, developers of high end stem cell processing and expansion systems and devices, to jointly conduct research in the expansion of hematopoietic stem cells and NK cells to enhance the benefits immunotherapy for cancer. They will jointly develop and standardize devices for zero gravity cell culture to study the effects of age related damages in space for future application in anti-aging treatment.



L>R: Mr. Yoshio Morozumi (Chairman, Nichi International), Mr Takayuki Emura (President of Astec) and Dr. Samuel Abraham (Director, NCRM) during the exchange of MoU.

NCRM has been a pioneer in Autologous Immune Enhancement Therapy (AIET) for cancer in which patients own Natural Killer (NK) cells and T-Lymphocytes are used to destroy cancer cells (www.ncrm.org/aiet). The expertise of NCRM in AIET will be further enhanced by this tie up as the culture bags developed by M/S Astec Inc, Japan will provide a gas permeable membrane based, three dimensional cell culture technology by which the longevity of NK cells are improved in earlier studies, said Dr Abraham, Director, NCRM.

Astec Inc, is a Japanese company established in 1978, has been specializing in high end gadgets for stem cell culture and characterization including CO2 incubators. Recently Astec has completed development of (i) Gas delivery optimizing, permeable membrane-technology, (ii) Non-invasive external sensing of cell culture media -technology (iii) Web based incubator monitoring and alarm systems and (iv) Remote, three dimensional image monitoring of cells under culture-technology. These accomplishments have a synergy with the nanomaterial and hydrogel based stem cell expansion and tissue engineering expertise of NCRM and when these two combined will pave way for numerous applications in regenerative medicine, said Mr Takayuki Emura, President of Astec. NCRM has been researching since 2000 in India and Japan on developing biological contamination free, undifferentiated expansion of one's own stem cells for treating various diseases. One of the physical parameters which is not changeable on earth is the gravity. To study the effects of age related damages in stem cells, we need to send the cells to space in a satellite, make them grow, be in an environment which could be monitored from earth while the cells are in the orbit in the satellite and culture conditions changeable by remote control devices. With the accomplishments and expertise of Astec and NCRM coming together,  we hope to overcome the existing hurdles for such experiments using stem cells in the gravity-free environment of outer space, said Mr.Yoshio Morozumi, Chairman, Nichi-In group of organizations, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.

What this tie-up would mean to a common man today is that the cancer patients undergoing immunotherapy using their own NK cells will have better outcome of the treatment.

In long term this would pave way for zero gravity stem cell culture experiments in the space, which when found to have beneficial effects such as prevention of damages due to aging, may revolutionize the approach to prevention of diseases and treatment.

Mr. Shinji Morishita
(Vice-President, Astec)

Mr.Takeo Cho
(Technical manager, Astec).
The MoU was signed at the headquarters of Astec Inc., in Fukuoka city, Japan and exchanged between Dr Abraham(Director, NCRM) and Mr.Emura ( President, Astec) in the presence of Mr.Yoshio Morozumi(Chairman, Nichi-In), Mr. Shinji Morishita (Vice-President, Astec) and Mr.Takeo Cho (Technical manager, Astec).

Related News in the media :Pharma Biz | Web 123.com | New Kerala.com | The Hindu

*"Nichi" stands for Japan and "In" stands for India. This institute started as an Indo-Japan collaboration with headquarters in Tokyo, now has spreaded further with global alliances
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