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President Droupadi Murmu introduces India's first-ever affordable gene therapy for cancer

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

Written By : Health Desk Edited By : Kristina Das
New Delhi
Updated on: April 04, 2024 17:11 IST
gene therapy for cancer
Image Source : TWITTER President Murmu unveils India's affordable gene therapy for cancer.

President Droupadi Murmu on Thursday revealed the nation's first inexpensive, locally manufactured gene treatment for cancer, offering millions of cancer patients hope.

Launching the gene therapy treatment called “CAR-T cell therapy” at IIT Bombay, President Murmu said that it will successfully give countless patients new lives.

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

While sharing a video on X, the President wrote, "I am told this therapy will be available across the country in major cancer hospitals, providing new hope to patients and their families. Moreover, this affordable treatment can be made available to all patients across the world. That will be in tune with our vision of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam."

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 and the elite list of countries with access to this most innovative technology platform,” President Murmu emphasised.

(With IANS Inputs)

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