India Celebrates First Homegrown CAR T-Cell Therapy

April 10, 2024

In a milestone moment for India’s medical community, President Smt. Droupadi Murmu introduced the country’s first natively developed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy in a ceremony held April 4.

The therapy, actalycabtagene autoleucel (actaly-cel, marketed as NexCAR19), was jointly developed by scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and Tata Memorial Hospital in association with industry partner ImmunoACT. In October 2023, India’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organization approved actaly-cel to treat relapsed or refractory B-cell lymphomas and leukemia. It is the first CAR T-cell therapy approved for use in the country.

In her speech, Murmu celebrated actaly-cel as an example of the “Make in India” initiative and important step for health equity. While CAR T-cell therapies in the United States can cost upwards of $400,000  per dose, actaly-cel is expected to cost approximately $50,000.