07 Oct 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Mumbai: US-based Intrexon has entered a joint venture (JV) with Indian drug major Sun Pharma to come up with novel treatments for common eye diseases such as dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma and retinitis pigmentosa.
The companies have said that the deal was completed on September 30, 2013, and includes use of Intrexon's proprietary synthetic biology technologies for developing gene therapies for various forms of ocular disease. Sun Pharma's expertise in developing and manufacturing complex dosages is part of the deal.
Mr Dilip Shanghvi, managing director of Sun Pharma, said in a press statement that, "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."
Commenting on the collaboration, Mr Randal J Kirk, chairman and CEO, Intrexon, said that, "Today, more people suffer from ocular diseases than cancer. To address this immense unmet need, our innovative collaboration will unite Sun Pharma's global capability to develop and manufacture complex pharmaceuticals with Intrexon's proprietary cell and gene engineering technologies."
As per the World Health Organization (WHO) data published in June 2012, more than 285 million people worldwide are visually impaired. The data specifies that about 90 percent of those live in developing countries such as India.