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Amrita Hospital Teams Up with ImmunoACT to Introduce Innovative CAR T-cell Therapy

Written by : Aishwarya Sarthe

December 27, 2023

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NexCAR19, India's first indigenously developed CAR-T therapy, demonstrates clinical results on par with global standards, ensuring an effective and safe treatment option for relapsed/refractory B-cell lymphomas and leukemia.

In a significant stride in cancer treatment, Faridabad-based Amrita Hospital has collaborated with ImmunoACT, an IIT-Bombay incubated company, to introduce CAR T-cell therapy for B-cell lymphoma and leukemia patients. 

This therapy, a major advancement in cancer treatment, involves genetically modifying a patient's T cells to specifically target and attack cancer cells. Notably, Amrita Hospital is the first centre in Northern India to launch a CAR-T cell therapy program.

The objective of this strategic alliance is to provide CAR T-cell therapy to cancer patients, particularly those with relapsed or refractory B-cell lymphomas and leukemia. 

This therapy, known as NexCAR19, has received approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) after the successful completion of Phase I/II clinical trials. NexCAR19 is India's first commercially available CAR-T therapy, fully developed in the country through indigenous research and development.

Commenting on the same, Dr Prashant Mehta, senior consultant at Amrita Hospital, said, "We are now in an era where we can harness the power of our immunity to target cancer cells with minimum effects on other organs. CAR T-cell therapy is a novel way of achieving this, representing 'living drugs' that are genetically reprogrammed to target specific proteins on the surface of cancer cells."

ImmunoACT, the IIT-Bombay incubated company, played a pivotal role in the sourcing and manufacturing CAR-T cells for this therapy. 

Sharing thoughts on the same, Dr Rahul Purwar, founder and CEO of ImmunoACT, said, "Our vision is to ensure that advanced cell and gene therapy products are available in India through indigenous research and development, providing access at an affordable price."

The CAR T-cell therapy process involves extracting white blood cells from the patient, modifying T lymphocytes to express the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR), and infusing these cells back into the patient after conditioning chemotherapy. This 'living drug' can stay in the patient's body for an extended period, targeting residual cancer cells and potentially offering a permanent cure for certain types of cancer.

Adding thoughts, Dr Sanjeev Singh, medical director at Amrita Hospital, highlighted, "This therapy opens the door to many more patients who previously had limited access. We are now developing a national-level collaborative cell therapy lab to improve access to CAR immune cell therapies for a larger population."

In previous healthcare developments, Amrita Hospital, Kochi, unveiled the SWALLO app for dysphagia management, and previously deployed South Asia's first Healthcare Extended Reality Ecosystem, integrating AR, VR, and MR technologies for enhanced patient care and medical training. 


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