Miltenyi: MoU ‘paves way’ for India’s CGT ambitions

Miltenyi Biotec has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian government to bring CGT services to the country.

Shreeyashi Ojha, Reporter

February 29, 2024

2 Min Read

With an aim to catalyze the development of CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) T-cell therapies and bring them to hospitals across India, Germany-based Miltenyi is the latest entrant in the Indian biopharma space.  

Aiming to collaborate with Indian academia, startups, and other biopharma players, the firm is supporting the ‘Made in India’ shibboleth in cell and gene therapy (CGT) space. According to the firm, Miltenyi will focus on driving accessibility, affordability, and availability through local development and manufacturing.  

“We are excited to have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), Department of Biotechnology (DBT) as a CGT partner,” a spokesperson for Miltenyi told BioProcess Insider.   

“In doing so, we are honored to have the opportunity to actively engage in meaningful collaborations with academia and various research organizations under this MoU to pave the way for India as a global CGT leader.” 

Furthermore, the company is setting up Miltenyi Innovation and Technology Center (MITC) as a facility to showcase its bioprocess offerings in Hyderabad, capital of the state of Telangana.  

The spokesperson confirmed the COE will be the “first of its kind, knowledge sharing platform in India for collaboration, exchange, and research on CGT approaches right from pre-clinical / clinical development to commercialization.” 

Additionally, the firm will provide tools and services to enable customers to develop CGTs in hematology, oncology, immunology, and for autoimmune diseases. 

Five out of six approved CAR-T therapies have been manufactured using Miltenyi’s tools and services, the firm claims. “We believe that with our science-driven innovations and strong focus on cell and gene therapies we can make a big impact for researchers, clinicians, and biopharmaceutical companies across India,” the spokesperson said. 

The financials of this expansion have not been disclosed. 

The MoU comes as India’s presence in the CGT space is growing. In 2021, the DBT successfully administered its first CAR-T cell therapy at ACTREC, Tata Hospital Mumbai in patients suffering from acute lymphocytic leukemia. As India embarked on its journey to provide affordable treatments this trial marked the “first in India” treatment to be successful. 

Furthermore, India’s ambitious strategy to become a global biopharma hub by 2025 with a growth of $150 billion, it has paved the way for several investments. 

In 2023, bioprocess vendor Cytiva invested in a 33,000 square-foot manufacturing facility and experience center in Pune, India, including an ‘Experience Center’ to provide immersive training programs for upstream and downstream technologies, and showcasing Cytiva’s in-house products including ÄKTA, Allegro, iCELLis and Sepax. 

And from a Big Pharma perspective, Pfizer recently partnered with National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research (NIPER) Ahmedabad to incubate healthcare startups. This was followed by the US drugmaker Bristol Myers Squibb announced its largest facility outside the US to be opened in India by 2025.

About the Author(s)

Shreeyashi Ojha

Reporter, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering the manufacturing and processing sectors for biopharmaceuticals globally.  

Originally from India, I am a Londoner at heart. I have recently graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London.  

Feel free to reach out to me at: [email protected].

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