Home >Companies >News >Sun Pharma, Intrexon in JV for gene-based therapy for blindness
The joint venture will leverage Sun Pharma’s capabilities in developing and manufacturing complex dosage forms and specialty pharmaceuticals for niche therapy areas. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint (Hemant Mishra/Mint)
The joint venture will leverage Sun Pharma’s capabilities in developing and manufacturing complex dosage forms and specialty pharmaceuticals for niche therapy areas. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint
(Hemant Mishra/Mint)

Sun Pharma, Intrexon in JV for gene-based therapy for blindness

Both firms will share the investments in the project and also the revenue generated from it

Mumbai: Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., India’s most valuable drug maker, and US-based Intrexon Corp. will form a joint venture to develop gene-based therapies to treat eye diseases that cause partial or total blindness.

The two companies will share the investments in the project and also the revenue generated from it, they said in a statement on Tuesday.

The venture will leverage Sun Pharma’s capabilities in developing and manufacturing complex dosage forms and specialty pharmaceuticals for niche therapy areas.

Intrexon will share its full suite of proprietary synthetic biology technologies, including the RheoSwitch therapeutic system or RTS platform, a method for controlling the location, concentration and timing of protein expression, through an exclusive channel collaboration.

“We believe Intrexon’s biotechnology capabilities will enable us to develop not one, but several highly effective, novel treatments for multiple ocular disorders where there is currently an unmet need. Through this partnership it is our goal to provide relief for millions of people who today have very few treatment options and little hope of preserving their vision," Sun Pharma’s managing director Dilip Shanghvi said in the statement.

In addition to the initial targets, the companies intend to further expand the future pipeline of targeted ocular diseases to potentially include wet AMD (age-related macular degeneration), macular edema, non-infectious uveitis and diabetic retinopathy.

“Current treatments for major ocular disorders require frequent and often painful interventions that, at best, only slow the progression of the disease," said Samuel Broder, senior vice-president of Intrexon. “In combination with Sun Pharma’s tremendous development and manufacturing experience, we hope to produce a therapy that is minimally invasive as well as maximally effective in treating these debilitating diseases."

Shares of Sun Pharma fell 0.51% to Rs589.50 on BSE, while the exchange’s benchmark Sensex rose 0.71% to close at 19517.15 points.

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