Bengaluru, India: January 22, 2015
Biocon Ltd, Asia's premier biotechnology company, announced today that it has inducted Dr. Vijay K. Kuchroo as an additional independent director to its Board. Dr. Kuchroo is the Samuel L. Wasserstrom Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, Senior Scientist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Co-Director of the Center for Infection and Immunity, Brigham Research Institutes, Boston.
He is also an associate member of the Broad Institute and a participant in a Klarman Cell Observatory project that focuses on T-cell differentiation. He has just been named the Director of the newly formed Evergrande Center for Immunologic Diseases at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Dr Kuchroo's major research interests include autoimmune diseases, particularly the role of co-stimulation - the genetic basis of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis & multiple sclerosis, cell surface molecules and regulatory factors that regulate induction of T-cell tolerance and dysfunction. He was the first to describe the development of highly pathogenic Th17 cells, which have been shown to induce multiple different autoimmune diseases in humans. Dr. Kuchroo was also the first to describe the inhibitory receptor TIM-3, which is being exploited as a target for cancer immunotherapy. His laboratory has also made several transgenic mice that serve as animal models for human multiple sclerosis.
Dr. Kuchroo has 25 patents and has founded 5 different biotech companies including CoStim Pharmaceuticals and Tempero Pharmaceuticals. He also serves on the scientific advisory boards and works in advisory capacity to a number of big pharmaceutical companies.
As an advisor to Biocon, Dr. Kuchroo has made significant contributions towards scientifically positioning Itolizumab developed by Biocon, as a potential novel therapeutic for autoimmune diseases.
Biocon Chairperson and Managing Director, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said: "I welcome Vijay to the Biocon board. As a member of Biocon's Clinical Advisory Board, Vijay has been providing valuable inputs on the company's R&D programs in auto-immunity. His scientific expertise in autoimmunity and oncology will help us as we seek to bring our R&D programs to patients globally."
On his decision to join the Biocon board, Dr. Vijay Kuchroo said: "Biocon is a dynamic biopharmaceutical company with an eye on the future. The company's research into innovative biologics – unique among Indian companies - has the potential to not only benefit patients in India, but also globally. Biocon is conducting interesting research in the field of autoimmune diseases and can play a crucial role in transforming the future of cancer and neurological diseases through its research in immunotherapy. A breakthrough will be particularly beneficial for India, which is seeing an increase in morbidities specifically in cancer."
Dr Kuchroo has published over 325 original research papers in the field of Immunology and a paper describing development of Th17 authored by him has been one of the highest cited papers in Immunology.
He has been conferred with the prestigious Javits Neuroscience Award by the National Institutes of Health in 2002 and the Ranbaxy Prize in Medical Research from the Ranbaxy Science Foundation in 2011. He was named 'Distinguished Eberly Lecturer' in 2014 and obtained Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty Lecture/Prize in 2014.
Dr. Vijay Kuchroo, born in India, has a Ph.D. in Pathology from the University of Queensland, Brisbane where he received the Fred Z. Eager Research prize and medal for his research work.
He joined the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Bethesda as Fogarty International Fellow in 1985 and was there for a year before joining the Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School as a Research Fellow in 1986.
Biocon Limited, publicly listed in 2004, (BSE code: 532523, NSE Id: BIOCON, ISIN Id: INE376G01013) is India's largest and fully-integrated, innovation-led biopharmaceutical company. As an emerging global biopharmaceutical enterprise serving customers in over 85 countries, it is committed to reduce therapy costs of chronic diseases like autoimmune, diabetes, and cancer. Through innovative products and research services it is enabling access to affordable healthcare for patients, partners and healthcare systems across the globe. It has successfully developed and taken a range of novel biologics, biosimilars, differentiated small molecules and affordable recombinant human insulin and analogs from 'Lab to Market'. Some of its key brands are INSUGEN®(rh-insulin), BASALOG® (Glargine), CANMAb™ (Trastuzumab), BIOMAb-EGFR™ (Nimotuzumab) and ALZUMAb™(Itolizumab), a 'first in class' anti-CD6 monoclonal antibody. It has a rich pipeline of biosimilars and novel biologics at various stages of development including a high potential oral insulin.
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