A landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Indian biotechnology company ImmunoACT, Mexico's National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) and the Salvador Zubirán National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition (INCMNSZ). The agreement paves the way for the development of cutting-edge technology in cancer treatment, marking a significant milestone in Mexico's medical history.
The MoU was signed by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Minister of Foreign Relations Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, and Mexico’s Arturo Reyes Sandoval, Head, IPN, and José Sifuentes Osornio, Head, INCMNSZ. The signing ceremony was attended by Mexico’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard, who hailed it as a means for Mexico to gain access to one of the world's most innovative technologies. He highlighted the use of ImmunoACT’s technology in immunotherapy, which activates the body's own cells to fight cancer instead of relying on chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
The collaboration aims to facilitate research, knowledge exchange, capacity building and technology transfer in the field of novel cell therapies for various types of cancer prevalent in Mexico. Cancer ranks as the third leading cause of death in the Latin American country.
The IPN's role will involve initial cell preparation and the design of viral vectors to enhance the cells' capacity to combat cancerous tissues. Meanwhile, the INCMNSZ will oversee cell management, ensuring that these innovative therapies reach those who need them most, particularly underserved populations.
ImmunoACT, renowned for its development of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies, is at the forefront of revolutionizing cancer treatment and addressing other diseases such as autoimmune disorders. Such therapies are not currently available in Mexico and are prohibitively expensive for patients. ImmunoACT is actively working on designing more accessible therapies.
The signing ceremony was held remotely from ImmunoACT's headquarters in Mumbai, India. The event was witnessed by honorary guests Carlos Javier Castillo, Director General, Planning and Evaluation at the Foreign Ministry, Javier Dávila Torres, Director General, International Cooperation Policy at the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID), David Kersenobich, Former Director, INCMNSZ, and Rahul Purwar, Director General, ImmunoACT.