India’s First Home-Grown Gene Therapy for Cancer at Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay

On April 4, 2024,  President of India, Smt. Droupadi Murmu, visited Mumbai to launch India’s first home-grown gene therapy for cancer at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay.

Key highlights:

  1. The Therapy: The gene therapy in question is known as NexCAR19, which falls under the category of Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy. It was developed by ImmunoACT, a company incubated at IIT Bombay in collaboration with Tata Memorial Hospital. CAR-T therapy is a cutting-edge approach that harnesses the patient’s own immune system to target cancer cells.
  2. Targeted Treatment: NexCAR19 is specifically designed for B-cell cancers, including conditions such as leukemia and lymphoma. By genetically modifying the patient’s T-cells, this therapy enhances their ability to recognize and destroy cancerous cells.
  3. Indigenous Innovation: The fact that this therapy is home-grown is a matter of immense pride for India. It signifies the country’s capability to develop advanced medical solutions within its own borders.
  4. IIT Bombay’s Role: The Bioscience and Bioengineering (BSBE) department at IIT Bombay played a crucial role in designing and manufacturing the CAR-T cells for NexCAR19. This interdisciplinary effort demonstrates the synergy between scientific research and clinical application.
  5. Hope for Patients: With NexCAR19, patients now have access to a novel treatment option that holds promise for improved outcomes and enhanced quality of life.

Q: What is the name of India’s first home-grown gene therapy for cancer?

A) NexCAR19
B) ImmunoACT
C) Tata Memorial Hospital
D) IIT Bombay

Answer: A) NexCAR19

Q: What does CAR-T therapy stand for?

A) Cellular Antigen Receptor Treatment
B) Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell therapy
C) Cancer Antigen Response Technique
D) Cellular Antibody Recognition Therapy

Answer: B) Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell therapy

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