US-based Ocugen to establish R&D centre focused on gene and cell therapies in Hyderabad

Hyderabad: Ocugen, a leading biotechnology company based in Pennsylvania, United States, has announced its plans to establish a state-of-the-art research and development (R&D) centre in Telangana. The centre will focus on developing cutting-edge modifier gene therapies, regenerative cell therapy, and vaccines to address unmet medical needs and promote public health. This strategic move is expected to have a positive economic impact in the region and create a substantial number of job opportunities in the coming years.

The decision was made following a meeting between Dr Shankar Musunuri, Chairman, CEO, and Co-founder of Ocugen; Dr Arun Upadhyay, Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Research, Development, and Medical at Ocugen; and Dr Ajay Potluri, In Charge of the Ocugen India Project, along with Minister KT Rama Rao, Principal Secretary Jayesh Ranjan, and CEO of Telangana Life Sciences Shakthi M. Nagappan.

Dr Shankar Musunuri expressed excitement about expanding operations in India and transforming Ocugen into a global organization that pioneers innovative approaches to medicine with patients at the forefront. He expressed gratitude for the opportunity and commended the collaboration with Telangana authorities.

Minister K.T. Rama Rao warmly welcomed Ocugen to Hyderabad, emphasizing the vibrant biotech industry and strong academic foundation in the state that attracts both local and international players to establish R&D centres. He highlighted the state’s vision to become a USD 250 billion ecosystem by 2030 and identified complex manufacturing and advanced therapeutics as key drivers of growth. The minister emphasized that this investment in cell and gene therapy aligns strategically with the state’s focus on emerging areas of life sciences.

Ocugen’s R&D pipeline features three innovative platform technologies dedicated to ophthalmology, orthopaedics, and infectious diseases. The company’s breakthrough modifier gene therapy platform has the potential to treat multiple retinal diseases caused by mutations in multiple genes with a single product, setting it apart from traditional gene therapies. Currently, Ocugen is advancing three modifier gene therapy programs targeting various eye conditions, including retinitis pigmentosa, Leber congenital amaurosis, dry AMD, and ABCA4-related retinopathies. Notably, Ocugen is the first company to bring this modifier gene therapy concept into clinical trials on a global scale.

Dr Arun Upadhyay, Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Research, Development, and Medical at Ocugen, expressed enthusiasm about collaborating with the scientific and medical communities in Hyderabad. He acknowledged the potential of India’s strong scientific ecosystem to drive the development of therapeutic candidates at Ocugen.

Dr Ajay Potluri, In Charge of the Ocugen India Project, expressed delight in establishing the R&D facility in Telangana and thanked the minister and his team for their unwavering support and incentives. He emphasized the spirit of innovation and collaboration in the region and expressed eagerness to contribute to the thriving biotech ecosystem in Hyderabad, working towards transformative therapies for patients in need.

Hyderabad, aiming to become the “knowledge capital of the world’s life sciences industry,” already hosts over 1,000 global life sciences companies and serves as a hub for innovation. The city’s dedicated centres cater to the core R&D, digital, and engineering activities of major pharmaceutical companies, driving the development of cost-effective therapies and medical devices that save lives worldwide. (INN)

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