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Cytecare Hospitals & ImmunoACT Partner to Offer CAR-T Cell Therapy in Karnataka

Written by : Aishwarya Sarthe

February 13, 2024

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The partnership aims to broaden the scope of cancer care services by offering NexCAR19™, the nation's first CAR-T cell therapy, developed by ImmunoACT.

In a significant stride forward in cancer treatment, Bengaluru-based Cytecare Hospitals has partnered with ImmunoACT, an IIT Bombay-incubated startup, to introduce CAR-T cell therapy, a novel approach to personalized cancer care.

The partnership aims to broaden the scope of cancer care services by offering NexCAR19™, the nation's first CAR-T cell therapy, developed by ImmunoACT. This therapy brings hope to patients battling refractory or relapsing B-cell lymphoma and B-acute lymphoblastic leukemia, providing them with a promising treatment alternative.

Commenting on the development, Dr Prasad Narayanan, director of medical oncology, haemato oncology & bone marrow transplant, Cytecare Hospitals, said, "There is a widely unmet clinical need in B-cell malignancies, especially in cases of treatment failure with the existing standard of care. We are confident that our clinical paradigms will be further enhanced with CAR-T cell therapies."

Additionally, the hospital claims that this collaboration positions Cytecare Hospitals as the first healthcare facility in Karnataka to provide CAR-T cell therapy, marking a significant development in the state's medical landscape.

Transformative Approach in Cancer Care

In an exclusive conversation with DHN, Dr Harish P, senior consultant - medical oncology, hemato oncology & BMT, Cytecare Hospitals, highlighted the significance of CAR-T cell therapy in transforming cancer care.

He said, "Cytecare Hospitals is the first hospital in Karnataka to offer CAR-T cell therapy outside of a clinical trial setting. This marks a significant milestone in making this advanced, life-saving cancer treatment accessible and affordable for more patients, not only in India but globally. CAR-T cell therapy, a novel approach in cancer care, brings hope to patients with refractory or relapsing B-cell lymphoma and B-acute lymphoblastic leukemia.’’

Further, emphasizing the benefits of the therapy Dr Harish noted that this cellular immunotherapy modifies T cells to identify and attack cancer cells specifically. Unlike traditional treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy, which harm healthy cells alongside cancerous ones, immunotherapy precisely targets tumors.

Additionally, Dr Harish highlighted the collaboration with ImmunoACT, the creators of India's inaugural CAR-T cell therapy - NexCAR19™, authorized for market use by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) in October 2023.

He said, "Global scientific research underscores the remarkable effectiveness of this therapy in numerous patients. CAR-T cell therapy has the potential to substantially enhance the quality of life and extend survival for patients with B-cell malignancies that typically have poor prognoses."

Accessibility & Affordability

Reportedly, Cytecare Hospitals offer CAR-T cell therapy at a significantly lower cost compared to Western countries. While the initial therapy alone in the US can cost over $400,000, the cost in India is substantially lower, making advanced cancer treatment more accessible and affordable for patients.

Emphasizing the impact of this cost difference, Dr Harish said, "When a groundbreaking cancer treatment like CAR-T cell therapy is made accessible at about 1/10th of the treatment cost, more patients can avail of the treatment to achieve the best outcomes."

Looking ahead, the landscape of cancer treatment, according to Dr Harish, holds promise with ongoing advancements in CAR-T cell therapy.

"Hospitals must nurture a strong partnership among medical practitioners and patients, aligning treatment decisions with patients' needs, goals, and preferences. This patient-centric approach, combined with technological advances, will revolutionize cancer treatment and care," he added.

NexCAR19™: A Breakthrough in Cancer Treatment

NexCAR19™, developed by ImmunoACT, represents India's first CAR-T cell therapy. Market authorization granted by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) in October 2023 paved the way for its commercial availability.

Sharing insights, Shirish Arya, cofounder & director of business development & corporate strategy, ImmunoACT, said, "Our partnership with Cytecare Hospitals is a testament towards ensuring that access to our CAR-T cell therapies is expansive and affordable, with the highest quality standards maintained from vein-to-vein."

In a recent development, Tata Hospital and IIT Bombay collaborated to introduce CAR-T cell therapy, boasting a remarkable 99% efficacy in children with blood cancer.

This therapy offers hope for patients when conventional treatments fail and holds promise for the treatment of advanced blood cell cancer, particularly in older individuals.

Founded in 2014. The Bengaluru-based Cytecare Hospitals is a comprehensive cancer care network dedicated to providing advanced treatments and compassionate care.

With a flagship hospital in Yelahanka, Bengaluru, spanning over 1,60,000 sq. ft, Cytecare offers a range of cancer care services supported by world-class infrastructure and expertise.


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