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News about a Joint Research Agreement (Feb 04)

A Tripartite agreement among 

Nichi-In, Mebiol Inc, Japan & 

Vision Research Foundation 

(Sankara Nethralaya)


An Indo-Japan Research Joint Venture initiated by Nichi-In



 A memorandum of understanding was signed among Nichi-In Bio Sciences (P) Ltd (formerly known as Nichi-in Drugs  & Devices (P) Ltd (NID), Mebiol Inc., Japan (MBL), and  Vision Research Foundation (VRF), Sankara Nethralaya on the 9th of February 2004 in a function held at Chennai.


From L>R Dr Madhavan, (Director VRF), Dr Samuel JK. Abraham (Consultant GNC, parent company of NID),

H.E Mr. Ryuzo Kikuchi  (Consul General of Japan, Chennai), Prof. Yuichi Mori (CEO, MBL & Professor, -

Polymer Engg., Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan), Dr T.S. Surendran (Medical Director, VRF),

& Dr Lingam Gopal (President VRF).


Nichi-In, with it's major concern of bringing together, the Bio-medical technology in Japan and the skilled man power in the Bio-medical area in India has been coordinating between Mebiol Inc and various Indian institutes of excellence in R & D for long. Mebiol Inc is headed by Prof. Mori Yuichi, a polymer scientist who is also the Professor of Polymer Engineering Dept at Waseda University, and has developed several products using polymer material for medical & agricultural use. He has to his credit more than 245 research publications and over 95 patents. Among them is the newly developed Mebiol gel. This is an aqueous solution of Thermo reversible Gelation Polymer (TGP), which turns into hydrogel upon heating and liquefies upon cooling.


One among the institutions with whom Nichi-In had been interacting was the Vision research foundation of Sankara Nethralaya, a pioneer institute in India for Clinical Ophthalmic Care & Basic research on the same. The MOU was signed for a study on the influence of Mebiol Gel in the cultivation of animal and human cells and viral infections. Since Jun 2003, at the L&T Microbiology Research Centre of VRF, Sankara Nethralaya, a study was carried out to determine the influence exerted by the gel on the growth of the standard continuous tissue and cell cultures maintained in the tissue culture laboratory. Six of them were selected for the variability of their origin in relation to species, organ tissue and the tissue type such as from normal and malignant tissues. It was found that Mebiol gel does have varying influences on the growth characteristics of these cell lines.


The experiments designed in this study could be used for studies at the molecular levels of cells migrating out of the gel, by collecting them at intervals of time of their growth. As the gel is found to have selective effect in allowing the growth of cells outside its own environment, the method can be used for selectively growing cells from organ tissues. The future use of the gel in such respects is enormous. Since the study at the VRF, has shown results of great value, the agreement between Nichi-In, Mebiol Inc and Vision Research Foundation was reached for in vitro studies on the characteristics of growth of cells from eye tissues and animal cells using Mebiol Gel.


In this research project, it is proposed that the following studies are accomplished in detail: 

1) Determination of  the growth characteristics of cells from the continuous cell & tissue cultures using Mebiol Gel
2) Determination of the growth characteristics of cells from the tissues of the eye using Mebiol Gel
3) Evaluation of the growth characteristics of viruses in specific cell types with in the environment of Mebiol Gel

The Ceremony of signing of the MoU was witnessed by the  Consul General of Japan at Chennai, Mr. Kikuchi Ryuzo.


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