Thursday, February 8, 2024

Apollo introduces ‘Made in India’ CAR T-cell program

First private hospital in India to successfully complete CAR T-cell therapy in 3 patients

Navi Mumbai, 8 February 2024 - In a ground-breaking development, Apollo Cancer Centers (ACCs) has emerged as the first private hospital group in India to successfully complete the CAR T-cell therapy with 3 patients and to further augment it, the group will now provide access to ‘Made in India’ CAR T-cell therapy, beginning with NexCAR19™ (Actalycabtagene autoleucel), for the treatment of B-cell lymphomas and B-acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in patients aged 15 years and above.

CAR T-cell therapies, often known as ‘living drugs’ involve the extraction of a patient’s T-cells (a type of white blood cells whose function is to fight cancer cells) through a process known as Aapheresis. These T-cells are then genetically modified by a safe vehicle (viral vector) in a controlled laboratory setting, so that they express modified connectors on their surface called Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CARs). These CARs are specifically designed to recognize a protein which is abnormally expressed on certain cancer cells. They are then multiplied to a desired dose and infused directly into the patient.

CAR T-cell therapies have gained global recognition for their unparalleled success in transforming the lives of patients with challenging B-cell malignancies. As per available data, approx 25,000 patients have benefited from this therapy across the world.

Dr. Punit Jain, Consultant – Hematology, ACC Navi Mumbai, said, "The successful treatment of 3 patients using CAR T-cell therapy at a commercial level, represents a significant leap forward in our fight against B-cell lymphomas and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. These cases highlight the efficacy and potential of this transformative therapy in providing new hope for patients facing these challenging conditions. We have the expertise of 58 Bone Marrow Transplant procedures at our Navi Mumbai hospital and are confident that we will be able to successfully practice the CAR T-cell therapy as well"

Dr. Vipin Khandelwal, Consultant Paediatric Hemato Oncology, ACC Navi Mumbai, said, “The successful implementation of CAR T-cell therapy represents a pivotal moment in the advancement of cancer treatment in India. Treating patients with this revolutionary therapy showcases the potential and efficacy of this transformative approach in addressing challenging B-cell malignancies. This milestone signifies a new chapter in our fight against cancer, offering renewed hope and possibilities to those battling these conditions. Sharing insights into the success of the program, he further added, "we are now poised to treat them with the indigenously built therapy.”

Mr Santosh Marathe - Regional CEO Western Region, Apollo Hospitals said, "Embarking on a pioneering journey, Apollo Cancer Centres has achieved a remarkable feat in the realm of cancer treatment. With successful treatments, our commitment to advancing CAR T-cell therapy is unwavering. Being the first private hospital in India to achieve success among 3 patients with this transformative therapy sets a new benchmark, reinforcing our dedication to ground-breaking healthcare. The indigenously built CAR T-cell therapy - NexCAR19, reflects our commitment to accessible and effective solutions. Apollo Cancer Centres is not just changing the narrative; we're rewriting the possibilities of giving better treatment outcomes for cancer patients across India and beyond.”

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