India’s premier research institute IIT-Kanpur has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Niche Agriculture & Pharmaceuticals Limited (NAPL), a company engaged in agricultural activities and formulation of advanced medicines, for research on cultivation of ‘Cannabis’ and its usage in pharma and bioengineering. The collaboration will focus on research, development, and consultancy studies in the fields of mutual interest.
By partnering together, the two organisations are setting the groundwork for reorganising the indigenous cannabis plant and creating new hemp cultivars that adhere to international regulations. The development of new hemp-based treatments will help doctors address the rising rates of cancer, epilepsy, migraine, chronic pain, arthritis, and insomnia in India.
The MoU was signed by Professor Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT Kanpur and Harisharan Devgan, Chairman of Niche Group of Companies, in the presence of senior professors, researchers, and other faculty members. Speaking on the partnership, Karandikar said that it will lay the foundation for better research and development in the biotech industry. “Cannabis has been widely accepted in Indian culture through the ages, yet we have limited knowledge about this holy plant,” he further added.
Elaborating on the MoU, Devgan said, “This collaboration will not only grant access to a whole new range of medicinal formulations, but it will also offer people affordable medical treatment for chronic health problems. We are focusing on improving cooperation in the field of hemp cultivation and bioengineering and implementing technologies like tissue culture with IIT-Kanpur for research and development, and exchanging academic materials and publications for the formulation of hemp-based and other medicines for chronic diseases.”