President Droupadi Murmu unveils 1st ‘India-made’ affordable gene therapy for cancer

In a ray of hope for millions suffering from cancer, President Droupadi Murmu

New Delhi, April 4 (IANS) In a ray of hope for millions suffering from cancer, President Droupadi Murmu on Thursday unveiled the country’s first indigenously-made and affordable gene therapy for the deadly disease.

Launching the gene therapy treatment called “CAR-T cell therapy” at IIT Bombay, President Murmu said that it will be successful in giving new lives to countless patients.

This cell therapy has been available in developed nations for some time but is extremely costly and beyond the reach of most patients globally, including in India.

President Murmu said it is an example of the ‘Make in India’ initiative which is a shining example of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

The ‘CAR-T cell therapy’ has been developed via collaboration between the IIT Bombay and Tata Memorial Hospital, in association with industry partner ImmunoACT, which is “a praiseworthy example of academia-industry partnership.”

President Murmu said that with the knowledge base and skills of the faculty and students of IIT Bombay and other similar institutions, India “would benefit greatly from the technological revolution underway.”

CAR-T cell therapy or chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy is a form of immunotherapy and gene therapy. It requires complex genetic engineering to modify the patient’s immune cells, especially T cells, and make them fight cancer.

“The development of this therapy in India over the past decade and its approval in October 2023 speaks volumes about the skills of Indian scientists and physicians,” said President Murmu.

Cancer has claimed a large number of lives around the world. In India, 14.6 lakh people succumbed to it in 2022, and the number is likely to rise to 15.7 lakh by 2025.

“The therapy being launched today is a major step — in fact, a new milestone in the journey of healthcare innovation in India. It puts us on the global map of advanced medical care as well as on the elite list of countries, which have access to this most innovative technology platform,” President Murmu emphasised.



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