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IIT Madras signs technology transfer agreement with SynkroMax Biotech to develop tissue engineered pericardial patch

IIT Madras and SynkroMax Biotech have signed a technology transfer agreement for a Tissue Engineered Bovine Pericardial Patch.

By Team ABLE

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chennai-based SynkroMax Biotech (SMBPL) on November 2, 2016 for a Technology Transfer. The MoU was signed by Prof. Krishnan Balasubramanian, Dean, ICSR, IIT Madras and C V Seshadri, MD, SMBPL.

Researchers at IIT Madras have developed a tissue engineered indigenous pericardial patch which is superior in many aspects having the property of regeneration and integration in the body and ease of handling by the surgeons. In a way, it is a lifesaving implant for critical cardiovascular patients with anatomical and structural deficiency in the system. In future, it may be applicable for many other areas of surgical practice for its inherent properties. It is said to be the first-of-its-kind in India and the whole of Asia.

SMBPL believes that the company will exploit the technology developed at IIT Madras to revolutionize the field of surgical patches with product that is designed in India and Made in India for the world.

Surgical patches are important to establish continuity and anatomical correction in multiple surgical practices.  In cardiac surgical practice this becomes a key component with the growing incidences of children operated for congenital heart diseases (12 in thousand live births) and the growing cardiovascular interventions in adults.  Material of biological origin are the most sought after for patches.  However, there are issues pertaining to acceptability of these materials in human body owing to our natural immune systems deleterious response to foreign objects in contact with blood. None of the currently available synthetic, homologous (human derived) and xenogeneic (compatible animal derived) patches have the potential for growth and repair; over and above may induce calcification and other fibrotic complications, requiring re-operations. Presently India imports 100% of biological origin surgical patches, which is still inadequate in meeting the demands.

Highlighting the significance of this technology transfer, Dr Venkatesh Balasubramanian, Professor, Department of Engineering Design, IIT Madras said, “It is always a desire that the philosophical work done as a Doctoral thesis is inventive and innovative.  Having a cardiac surgeon of long standing, choosing to take a change in career to research is even better.  The bedrock of the dissertation work was to work on a product not as an incremental improvement but a disruption that will stand longer after both of us were gone.  In that pursuit, a methodology to process the core material that is used a patch in various surgical procedures was developed.  This was possible by an innovative processing of xenogeneic tissue for human usage. While the doctoral work won the best thesis award from INSA in 2008, the true victory is when it is available as surgical patch for the world, Made in India.  It is indeed a pleasure that Dr Soma Guhathakurtha and SMBPL are taking this technology to offer SynkroScaff, a product conceived, researched, designed, developed and Made in India for the world.”

Sharing her views on the technology transfer, Dr. Soma Guhathakurta, Adjunct Professor IIT Madras and Director Bioengineering Division, SMBPL said, “India’s import dependency on medical devices is over 80 per cent. At Bioengineering Division of SMBPL, our main scientific objective is to indigenously develop versatile biological devices and reduce import dependency. We adapt the principles of regenerative medicine, materials science and engineering to develop biological substitutes that can restore and maintain physiological function. The growing need of the cardiac patches in our country made us develop SynkroScaff – A Tissue Engineered Bovine Pericardial Patch using indigenous technology originally sprouted out of my doctoral research in IIT Madras, under the guidance of Prof Venkatesh Balasubramanian. SynkroScaff is first of its kind in Asia and will be manufactured in a facility complying with cGMP standards. SynkroScaff has got versatile use to achieve anatomical correction of the heart and its blood vessels deformities and deficiencies. Its applications are immense in cardiovascular as well as in many other surgical practices. Experimental efforts are currently underway at Bioengineering division, involving tissue engineered products at different stages of development.”

Sharing his views on the technology transfer, C V Seshadri, MD, SMBPL, said, “Synkromax strongly believes that any business conduct can be ethical only when it rests on the nine core values of Honesty, Integrity, Respect, Fairness, Purposefulness, Trust, Responsibility, Citizenship and Caring. SynkroScaff is our earnest effort to step into medical device field with a classic product, which will replace import and will materialize our dream of indigenization.”