Press Releases

4. 20 October 2005:

Finding of a new application of Skygel in bioremediation

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4. 20 October 2005:

Launching of an automatic vacuum driven infusion pump from Japan

for postoperative pain relief and easier administration of anesthesia

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3. 05 August 2005:

Announcement of a new invention on Corneal Limbal Stem Cells & MoU Signing with Vision Research Foundation, Sankara Nethralaya   Click for related News

2. 31 July 2005:

Signing of a MoU with Owaisi Hospitals, Hyderabad for research in liver failure treatment

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1.  21 July 2005:

Signing of a MoU with Vivekananda College, Chennai for research in water conservation, environmentally degradable plastics.

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Vivekananda Institute Algal Technology (VIAT) and Nichi-In Bio Sciences (P) Ltd have invented a new application of a polymer in (Algal)

Phycoremediation (bio-remediation).

 

VIAT (Vivekananda Institute of Algal Technology), a research unit of Ramakrishna Mission Vidyapith, jointly with an Indo-Japan joint venture firm M/S Nichi-In Bio Sciences (P) Ltd, has invented a new application of a polymer in Phycoremediation. Phycoremediation is the cleaning of polluted water mainly from industrial effluents using Algae (micro organism) so that the polluted water can be re-used or disposed in an environmental friendly manner. This invention is a breakthrough, which is likely to save the cost of the industries for such water treatment and above all eco-friendly. This is the result of an ongoing collaborative research started in July 2005 between the two.

 

SKYGEL - a break through discovery by Prof. Mori Yuichi et al of Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, is known for its water conservation property as it swells to 200 times its volume upon absorbing water and keeps giving it to the plants when mixed with soil. This has been approved by the Japanese government for roof gardens and horticulture. This is very suitable for plant cultivation in places with water scarcity. Studies have shown that regular watering may not be necessary for lawns as well as water irrigation frequency can be reduced in horticultural usage, when the cultivation is done on soil mixed with the Sky Gel.

 

In the new invention made this time, it has been found that Sky Gel can be used for micro algal cultivation and maintenance.  Sky Gelfs efficacy in enhancing bio-remediation of industrial effluents was also studied by VIAT. In water treatment, for example to treat acidic water from a polluted source, lots of buffering material such as caustic soda is added to reduce the acidity. In phycoremediation, instead of such chemicals to treat water, algae are added to the polluted water which will increase the pH t to reach normal status thus saving lots of cost which is usually spent on the chemicals. Now in this research we have found that the presence of Sky Gel in the culture medium supports better growth of algae and also for a longer period when compared to conventional laboratory techniques under practice. As regards to bio-remediation of industrial effluents with algae (PHYCOREMEDIATION) the presence of Sky Gel, even at very low concentrations in the effluent, facilitates better growth and bioremediation resulting in a better water treatment in terms of both quantity and quality. VIAT recommends the usage of Sky Gel in microbial cultivation and maintenance and also for bio-remediation.

 

Other salient features of this Collaboration and the Skygel:

 

1.  The Sky gel can function for a period of 4 Years in the soil. Sky Gel mixed with soil is gradually decomposed by ultraviolet rays and the microorganisms, it becomes carbon dioxide and water and it can be disposed of same as normal soil. It has been proved to be environmentally friendly.

2. Sky Gel can be used with many kinds of fertilizers (liquid type, granulated type etc) and several kinds of agricultural chemicals and herbicides.

3. For the past one year research have been going on in three subjects viz.,

 (i) Biodegradation of polymers (ii) Stability of HYMEC membrane under Indian aquatic conditions and (iii) Application of SKYGEL in cultivation of microbes and in bio-remediation of effluents and waste waters. The first two projects are nearing completion and waiting for the approval of scientific community. The results with Sky Gel are very interesting and have lots of economic importance were presented in the recently concluded National Symposium on Algal Bio-diversity and its role in bio-remediation (23rd to 25th  September,  2006) at Chennai and was appreciated by the scientific and industrial community.

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Launching of an automatic vacuum driven infusion pump from Japan

for postoperative pain relief and easier administration of anesthesia

 

Nichi-In Bio Sciences (P) Ltd is launching tomorrow, a novel automatic vacuum driven infusion pump made by Daiken-Iki Co Ltd, Osaka, Japan, for the first time in India, which will be very useful for administration of pain relief medications and anesthesia even during transport in the ambulances for longer duration as it doesnft require any electricity as in the conventional electronic infusion pumps. This launch is taking place beside the 9th Annual conference of the Indian Chapter of the International Trauma Anesthesiology & Critical Care Society held at Savera Hotel, Chennai from the 21st to the 23rd of Oct-2005 (http://www.itaccschennai2005.com/).

This hand held device called g Syringector h weighing about 50 grams that can be hung to the belt of the patient who is ambulatory with the help of an additionally provided bag, works on a patented – pre-filled vacuum based technology. The drug in liquid form when filled in, is delivered at a constant flow rate and the flow rate can be also chosen according to the need of the patient. This device comes as a boon to anaethetists, critical care as well as pain clinics, intensivists and paramedics handling emergency situation using the ambulances.

 

Unique advantages:

1.      The device doesnft require electricity and so is suitable for administering any kind of drug for delivery in a controlled manner to any patient during emergency situations and during transport in the ambulances.

2.      Epidural analgesia, which is administration of anesthetic drug outside the duramater of the spinal cord for 24-72 Hrs after the surgery helps relieve the surgical pain. This device is suitable for such purposes as the patient doesnft have to depend on a electrically driven pump for the delivery of the drug and therefore the patient can become ambulatory earlier which fastens the recovery time and lessens hospital stay.

3.      Chemotherapy drugs for cancer treatment can also be applied using this by experts taking necessary precautions.

The Syringector being disposable lessens contamination possibilities and being handy as well as user friendly relieves the patient from the necessity to keep himself confined to the bed, attached to an electronic gadget for the administration of drugs.

              A demonstration of the Syringector is performed in the Booth of gNichi-In Bio Sciencesh on all three days (21~23rd Oct-05) in the ITACCS venue.

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05 August 2005

Sankara Nethralaya (Vision Research Foundation) has invented a new method to treat corneal diseases using stem cells with the help of  Nichi-In Bio Sciences (P) Ltd, and Mebiol Inc., Japan.

 

The Vision Research Foundation- Sankara Nethralaya, a Super specialty Eye Hospital Chennai, has made a new invention that would help cure the diseases like Persistent corneal ulcers, Chemical and other severely damaging injuries to Corneal epithelium, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome etc., using the corneal stem cells of the patient himself. This has been achieved by a team of researchers headed by Dr H.N Madhavan, L & T Microbiology Research Centre, Vision Research Foundation, Sankara Nethralaya in a joint research project with M/S Nichi-In Biosciences (P) Ltd, a Chennai based Indo-Japan joint venture firm headed by Dr Samuel JK Abraham, and M/S Mebiol Inc., Japan, a Japanese biotechnology firm headed by Prof. Yuichi Mori and assisted by Dr Hiroshi Yoshioka, (Professor and associate professor respectively in polymer sciences, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan). The research commenced following a Memorandum of Understanding signed on the 4th of Feb-2005.

 

Corneal epithelium is a layer of transparent cells that cover the front portion of the cornea. The diseases and conditions as mentioned above affect the vision of approximately 3000 patients every year in India. Usually during such corneal damage, the corneal limbal stem cells spontaneously multiply and repair. But when the damage due to disease is very large or when the corneal limbal stem cell themselves are damaged, such repair is not feasible. At present the treatment available consists of either full thickness corneal transplant (only one among every 10 person waiting for a transplant gets the corneal transplant done, due to shortage of available cadaver corneas) or corneal epithelial transplant which are grown on homologous biological materials like Human amniotic membrane. The success rate with such methods has been less than 30% due to haziness as well as rejection.

 

In the present research, it has been invented that a small healthy limbus (The peripheral rim of cornea-sclera junction) of the normal eye can be taken (1mm3) and the corneal stem cells in that could be cultivated on a totally synthetic material called Mebiol Gel and after a growth for about 8-10 days when they all become a full monolayer. The cells thus cultivated have been identified as corneal limbal stem cells by several laboratory parameters. With the laboratory data available, it is possible that these cells can be transplanted on to the damaged eye to repair the diseased portion to recover vision. Till now, the research has been completed in the laboratory using cadaver eye tissues with successful outcome.

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First time in the world:

 

This is the first time in the world that a non biological (Totally synthetic) material has been used as a substrate to grow (cultivate) corneal limbal stem cells thereby paving a way for avoiding biological materials for this purpose and avoiding viral and other dangerous known and unknown contaminations in such biological materials as well as chances of rejections. The invention has been proven with all the latest scientific parameters that the cells are stem cells and upon confirmation of the same by our co-researchers in Japan, a joint patent through PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) has been filed.

Further strengthening of association with the Japanese scientists:

 

               In continuation of the above invention, a further Memorandum of Understanding is signed today, the 5th of August 2005 with M/S Nichi-In Biosciences (P) Ltd, an Indo-Japan joint venture firm represented by Dr Samuel JK Abraham (Cardiac surgeon, Yamanashi University Hospital, Japan) to start evaluating the invention using animal studies and to take the same to clinical application. Dr G.Sitalakshmi, Director, Cornea services, Vision Research Foundation Sankara Nethralaya will coordinate with Dr HN Madhavan in this project and Prof. Yuichi Mori and Dr Hiroshi Yoshioka of Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan will provide necessary technical assistance.

 

              Nichi-In Biosciences (P) Ltd, with at present three such joint research projects in India, is also starting up an exclusive gNichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicineh in Chennai to make such stem cell based therapy available in the day to day clinical practice in specialties like Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Hepatology and Hemato-oncology.

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31July 2005

Centre for Liver Research & Diagnostics, Owaisi Hospital is starting a novel research

to treat hepatic diseases using jointly with

M/S Nichi-In Bio Sciences (P) Ltd, and Mebiol Inc., Japan.

 

The, Centre for Liver Research & Diagnostics, Owaisi Hospital Hyderabad, is starting a new research project which is aimed at rendering treatment for conditions such as acute and chronic liver failure. The research will be headed by Dr C.M.Habibullah and this is a joint project between the Owaisi hospital and M/S Nichi-In Biosciences (P) Ltd, a Chennai based Indo-Japan joint venture firm headed by Dr Samuel JK Abraham, a cardiac surgeon of Yamanashi University Hospital, Japan. M/S Mebiol Inc., a Japanese biotechnology firm headed by Prof. Yuichi Mori and Dr Hiroshi Yoshioka, (Professor and associate professor respectively in polymer sciences, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan) will provide technical assistance.

 

Acute and Chronic liver diseases affect large number of patients in India every year. There has been no definitive treatment available for such conditions except liver transplantation, which is a highly technically demanding and expensive treatment performed only in a handful of centres in India. The success rate with such transplantation has been less than xx%  in India. Dr C.M.Habibullah`s research team has earlier come out with a new idea of using the foetal liver (Taken from aborted fetuses with informed consent after approval by the ethics committee) in treating the diseases with successful outcome, though it lasts only for a couple of days to weeks. But due to shortage of the fortal liver, this treatment has its own limitation. Now to overcome that obstacle, this novel research would focus on expanding the foetal liver substance in vitro (In the laboratory) and try maneuvers to prolong its life and functional capability in vivo (Inside the body) to make the efficacy of the treatment long-lasting and a definitive procedure, especially for acute liver dysfunction where a few weeks of support to the liver function would yield total cure.

First time in the world:

 

This is the first time in the world that a non biological (Totally synthetic) material has been used as a substrate by M/S Mebiol Inc., Japan to grow (cultivate) various cells, cell lines and tissues including stem cells thereby paving a way for avoiding biological materials for this purpose and avoiding viral and other dangerous known and unknown contaminations in such biological materials as well as chances of rejections. The expertise available with M/S Nichi-In Biosciences, India and M/S Mebiol Inc., Japan in the past 18 years have been proven with all the latest scientific parameters for their safety and efficacy and would be utilized in this joint research project.

 

Strengthening of association with the Japanese scientists:

 

               The research team of Owaisi hospital headed by Dr C.M. Habibullah has been interacting with Prof. Mori Yuichi and Dr Yoshioka Hiroshi of Waseda University and Dr Samuel JK Abraham of Yamanashi University Hospital since last October 2004. Exchange of scientific information started from then and after mutually analyzing the expertise of liver diseases treatment of the former and that of the later in polymer science as well as tissue engineering, it was decided to go ahead with the joint research project which will be assisted by Dr Aleem Khan, and Dr Parveen Nyamathullah of Owaisi hospital and Dr Premanathan and Mr Baskar of Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine.

 

              Nichi-In Biosciences (P) Ltd, with at present three such joint research projects in India, is also starting up an exclusive gNichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicineh in Chennai to make such cell therapeutics  based treatment available in the day to day clinical practice in specialties like Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Hepatology and Hemato-oncology.

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21 July 2005

Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda College and Nichi-In Bio Sciences (P) Ltd sign a MoU for research in Plastic disposal and Water conservation.

 

The 60 year-old Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda college, Chennai, managed by the Ramakrishna Mission Vidyapith has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chennai based Indo-Japan joint venture company M/S Nichi-In Biosciences (P) Ltd., for a multifaceted research project with emphasis on microbial biotechnology and environment safety to (i) develop technology for environment friendly plastic materials, (ii) find ways to safely dispose the plastic materials using microbes and to (iii) develop and validate polymers useful for water conservation in agriculture and horticulture. This agreement would enable them collaborate on a long-term basis on the above areas, initially signed for a year and further renewable thereafter.

 

The present Secretary of the college, Swami Satyapriyananda has been encouraging various developmental activities of the college in general and higher-level research areas in particular by providing necessary infrastructure facilities and funding for equipments. This has given a fillip to the activities of Unit of Algal Physiology & Biotechnology, which has enlarged its field of interest and has significant interactions with a number of industries. The present MOU is yet another achievement. The Unit of Algal Physiology and Biotechnology headed by Dr. V Sivasubramanian  has been involved in the research and commercial applications of algae based bioremediation in treating industrial effluents and has signed MOU s with industries like SNAP natural and alginate products, Ultramarine  & Pigments and Stahl India, Ranipet. The unit is also involved in extracting a number of useful bio-products from micro algae which may have applications in pharmaceutical, Nutraceutical and food industries. Their expertise has found a suitable alliance with Nichi-In Biosciences technically supported by and representing Japanese institutes like Waseda University, Yamanashi Medical University and Mebiol Inc, whose Indian operations is headed by Dr Samuel JK Abraham , a Cardiac surgeon. Prof. Mori Yuichi  of Waseda University, Japan, Dr. Yoshioka Hiroshi  of Mebiol Inc., the scientists participating in this collaboration have developed various polymers for water conservation and microbial degradable plastic materials would give the technological support. The medical and plant biotechnology sectors are the major strength of Nichi-In Bio Sciences whose Indian operations started in 2000 May and have been involved also in research in stem cells with hospitals and research organizations in India.

 

Disposal of plastic materials is considered damaging to the environment and also water scarcity for agriculture and horticulture is a major problem nowadays. With the above research programme, microbes based disposal of plastics is expected to evolve. A newer technology for developing methods to (i) grow plants with very little amount of water (less than 10% of the normal requirement) and (ii) grow them even in otherwise unusable water like that is contaminated with bacteria also seem possible.

 

With the expertise of Vivekananda college research team in Microbes and that of Nichi-In Biosciences in Polymers and tissue engineering, we have great hope that a formidable breakthrough could be in store for us in the field of environmental preservation and water conservation.

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