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NEXCAR19 AND CAR-T CELL THERAPY IN INDIA



  Apr 17, 2024

NEXCAR19 AND CAR-T CELL THERAPY IN INDIA



1. What is NexCAR19?

NexCAR19 is an innovative Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell therapy developed in India. It's designed to treat cancer by genetically modifying a patient’s T cells to recognize and attack malignant tumor cells.

2. How does CAR-T cell therapy work?

CAR-T cell therapy involves collecting T cells from a patient, genetically modifying them in a lab to express CAR proteins that recognize cancer cells, and then reintroducing these enhanced cells back into the patient’s body. The modified T cells are designed to identify and kill cancer cells.

3. Who developed NexCAR19?

NexCAR19 was developed by a team led by Dr. Rahul Purwar at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, along with collaborators from Tata Memorial Hospital and other specialists.

4. What makes NexCAR19 different from other CAR-T therapies?

Unlike most CAR-T therapies developed in the U.S. that use murine (mouse) antibody fragments, NexCAR19 incorporates humanized antibody fragments. This modification is intended to reduce toxicity and make the therapy more suitable for human use.

5. What are the clinical applications of NexCAR19?

NexCAR19 is used to treat relapsed or refractory B-lymphomas and B-Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (B-ALL) after other treatments have failed.

6. What are the side effects of NexCAR19?

The most common side effect is cytokine release syndrome (CRS), an intense inflammatory response. Other potential side effects include neurotoxicity, infections, and low blood cell counts.

7. Why is NexCAR19 significant for cancer care in India?

NexCAR19 represents a significant advancement in cancer treatment within India by providing a domestically developed, potentially more affordable CAR-T therapy option. It is especially important for providing access to cutting-edge treatments in a country where such options are often limited and expensive.

8. What challenges did the development of NexCAR19 face?

The development faced multiple challenges, including technical failures, the need for international collaboration for expertise and training, and the regulatory hurdles of clinical trials.

9. How much does NexCAR19 cost?

While cheaper than similar treatments available in the U.S., NexCAR19 still costs between ₹40 to 45 lakh, which can be prohibitive for many patients in India.

10. What are the future prospects for NexCAR19?

The team behind NexCAR19 is working on making the therapy more accessible by reducing costs through scaling up production and improving manufacturing efficiencies. The therapy’s lower toxicity also reduces the need for expensive hospitalization during treatment



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