Hon’ble President of India Smt. Droupadi Murmu dedicates Anti-Cancer CAR-T Cell Therapy to the Nation
President Of India Droupadi Murmu addressing audience
President Of India Droupadi Murmu receiving memento
Governor of Maharashtra Ramesh Bais receiving memento

Hon’ble President of India Smt. Droupadi Murmu today dedicated to the nation, the new anti-Cancer CAR-T cell therapy NexCAR19, in the presence of the Hon’ble Governor of Maharashtra Shri Ramesh Bais, Guest of Honour. IIT Bombay Director Prof. Subhasis Chaudhuri, Director of Tata Memorial Centre Prof. Sudeep Gupta, and the key contributors led by Prof. Rahul Purwar, Department of Bioscience and Bioengineering, IIT Bombay, Dr. Hasmukh Jain and Dr. (Surg Cdr) Gaurav Narula from the Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai. A few cancer survivors who were successfully treated with CAR-T cell therapy were also present.

In his address, the Institute’s Director Prof. Subhasis Chaudhuri presented an overview of the Institute’s research work and ecosystem and its growth over the years, with a focus on the contributions of Prof. Rahul Purwar, Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, who developed this therapy along with his team at IIT Bombay, at the startup ImmunoACT which he co-founded with his students, and with doctors at Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai. Prof. Chaudhuri said that the low-cost CAR T-cell therapy is a huge achievement for our country and cancer patients in India, and it places India firmly on the global map of cell and gene therapy. He said that we can take pride in the fact that India is now one of the very few countries in the world that can make its own gene therapy for treating cancer. This is a testament to the efforts of several scientists, doctors, nurses and others who worked together relentlessly over the last decade to achieve this goal for our patients”.
Speaking on the occasion, the Director of Tata Memorial Centre Dr. Sudeep Gupta said, “The collaboration between IIT (B) and Tata Memorial Centre to develop the first indigenous CAR T Cell Therapy product has been extremely fruitful and satisfying. This CAR-T Cell Therapy product will save many lives at much lower cost compared to the cost of such products available outside India. We hope that in years to come, our collaboration will lead to the development of other Cell and Gene Therapy products that will help our patients with various cancers”.

The Hon’ble President of India Smt. Draupadi Murmu congratulated the team of IIT Bombay, Tata Memorial Centre and ImmunoACT for their efforts in making CAR-T therapy available to people. In her address, Hon’ble President Smt. Murmu said, “CAR-T cell therapy is considered to be one of the most phenomenal advances in medical science. It has been available in developed nations for some time, but it is extremely costly and beyond the reach of most patients around the world. What is new about the therapy being launched today, as I understand it, is that it costs 90 per cent less than what is available elsewhere. This is the world's most affordable CAR-T cell therapy. Moreover, it is also an example of the 'Make in India' initiative; a shining example of the 'Atmanirbhar Bharat'.”

The Guest of Honour, Hon’ble Governor of Maharashtra Shri Ramesh Bais congratulated the team of IIT Bombay, TMC and ImmunoACT for the dedication of India’s first indigenous Gene Therapy (named CAR-T cell therapy) to fight against Cancer, to the nation. In his address, Shri Bais said, “In any advanced country, academia-industry collaboration is the key cornerstone. Academia leads in R&D, especially in basic sciences. These R&D provide potential breakthrough applications which need to be translated for commercialization by the industry. The collaboration between the academic institutes of IIT Bombay, Tata Memorial Hospital with industry partners like SINE, Laurus and others is a sterling example on how this can be achieved with benefits to all parties concerned”.

“Viksit Bharat will also need to entail that our healthcare services are at par with the best in the world. Healthcare itself will go through a major transformation in the coming decades with new breakthrough innovations. Cell and gene therapy will be an important aspect of it from treating cancers, to genetic disorders like sickle cell anemia and many other challenges that come with the ageing population. Not only do we have to ensure that we are able to innovate and provide the best technology to our population but also do it in a way where all segments of the society can access it”, he added.

The entire event was broadcast live on the YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/@IITBombayOfficialChannel

The programme was witnessed by IIT Bombay students, faculty members, the team from Tata Memorial Centre, ImmunoACT and other dignitaries.

About CAR-T Cell Therapy: NexCAR19 CAR-T therapy is India's first indigenously 'Made-in-India' CAR-T therapy; borne from the academia-industry partnership. NexCAR19 is the world's most affordable CAR-T therapy and it puts India firmly on the global map of advanced cell and gene therapy. The CAR-T Cell therapy has been developed by Prof. Rahul Purwar and his team at the BSBE Department, IIT Bombay in close association with Tata Memorial  Centre and ImmunoACT.

About ImmunoACT: Spun out from IIT-Bombay in 2018, ImmunoACT is India's pioneer in the development of the country's first indigenous Cell & Gene Therapy. With a rapidly expanding pipeline beginning with blood cancers, our mission is to provide affordable access to novel autologous CAR-T cell therapies.