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Tata Hospital Launches India’s First Oral Chemo Drug for Leukaemia

Written by : Nikita Saha

January 2, 2024

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The chemotherapy drug — 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP), named PREVALL will be available in syrup form in major hospital pharmacies across the country. Further, it is anticipated to bring benefits to approximately 10,000 children aged 1-10 diagnosed with ALL each year.

In a breakthrough development, doctors from Tata Memorial Hospital and Advanced Centre for Training Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC), in collaboration with IDRS Labs, Bengaluru, have developed India’s first oral suspension of the chemotherapy drug to treat Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL), the common form of blood cancer affecting children.

The chemotherapy drug — 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP), named PREVALL will be available in syrup form in major hospital pharmacies across the country. Further, it is anticipated to bring benefits to approximately 10,000 children aged 1-10 diagnosed with ALL each year.

Sharing his thoughts, Dr Girish Chinnaswamy, head, paediatric oncology department, Tata Memorial Hospital, said, “The formulations like PREVALL contribute to dose optimisation, enhancing adherence, and maximising drug efficacy. PREVALL’s launch is a major advancement, offering a more accurate and kid-friendly alternative to tablets.”

The newly developed PREVALL is easy to prepare. It comes with a syringe and a Press In Bottle Adapter (PIBA) for precise dosing based on a patient’s weight or body surface area.

Further, the oral suspension addresses various challenges associated with the existing tablet formulation, including issues related to dosage precision, flexibility, and tolerability.

Moreover, liquid formulations of 6-MP have been available in Europe and the US for a long time, but children in India and other developing countries didn't have access to it,

This development is poised to revolutionise cancer treatment, specifically hematologic malignancies including ALL, providing a more precise and child-friendly alternative to traditional tablets.

The Advanced Centre for Training Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC) was founded in 1952 by the Ministry of Health, Government of India. The organisation is a pioneer research institute for basic research that aims to provide treatment, research, and education in cancer.

On the other hand, IDRS Labs, Bengaluru, established in 2012, seeks to offer solutions of world-class quality with a strong emphasis on confidentiality, reliability, and customer delight.

While founded in 1841 by Dorabji Tata Trust, the Tata Memorial Hospital aims to provide service, education, and research in cancer.

Days back, IIT Guwahati partnered with NHM Assam to introduce Tata MD’s Healthcare Model. The pilot project involves setting up Digital Nerve Centre components at Healthcare Centres in 30 district hospitals, community health centres, primary health centres, and sub-centres in Assam.


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