Hon’ble President Of India, Smt. Droupadi Murmu, Dedicates Anti-Cancer CAR-T Cell Therapy – Nexcar19 – To The Nation

The Hon’ble President of India Smt. Droupadi Murmu, alongside the Hon’ble Governor of Maharashtra Shri Ramesh Bais, ceremoniously dedicated the new anti-cancer CAR-T cell therapy, NexCAR19, to the nation. The event took place in the presence of distinguished guests including Prof. Subhasis Chaudhuri, Director, IIT Bombay, and  Prof. Sudeep Gupta, Director, Tata Memorial Centre. Present at the occasion were key contributors including Prof. Rahul Purwar, Department of Bioscience and Bioengineering, and Dr. Hasmukh Jain and Dr. (Surg Cdr) Gaurav Narula from the Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai. The Wadhwani Research Centre for Bioengineering (WRCB) and the Tata Centre for Technology and Design (TCTD) at IIT Bombay provided the intramural funding for Prof. Purwar’s project titled ‘Evaluation of indigenously developed CAR-T platform technology for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)’ from 2017 to 2018. Subsequently, other partners like SINE and Laurus Labs supported Prof. Purwar’s exceptional journey leading to this breakthrough.

The occasion marked a significant milestone in the advancement of healthcare innovation and research in India. Notably, several cancer survivors who had undergone successful treatment with the CAR-T cell therapy were also present, adding a touch of poignancy to the occasion.

President Murmu Commends IIT Bombay’s Make in India Initiative

The Hon’ble President of India, Smt. Droupadi Murmu commended the collaborative efforts of IIT Bombay, Tata Memorial Centre, and ImmunoACT for their dedication to making CAR-T therapy accessible to people. She remarked, “CAR-T cell therapy is considered to be one of the most phenomenal advances in medical science.” Notably, she highlighted the therapy’s affordability )it costs 90% less), making it the world’s most affordable CAR-T cell therapy, and praised it as an exemplar of the ‘Make in India’ initiative. She added, “It is a shining example of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat.’”

Prof. Chaudhuri and Dr. Gupta Highlight Significance of Indigenous Therapy

In his address, Prof. Chaudhuri underscored the Institute’s pride in achieving this milestone and emphasized the immense significance of the indigenous therapy developed at IIT Bombay. In his address, he highlighted the contributions of Prof. Rahul Purwar, Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, who developed this therapy along with his team at IIT Bombay, his startup ImmunoACT which he co-founded with his students, and with doctors at Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai. He remarked, “The low-cost CAR T-cell therapy is a huge achievement for our country and cancer patients in India, placing India firmly on the global map of cell and gene therapy.” Prof. Chaudhuri expressed deep gratitude to Prof. Rahul Purwar and his team for their pioneering efforts and acknowledged the collaborative spirit that led to this groundbreaking development. He added, “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.”

Dr. Sudeep Gupta said, “The collaboration between IITB 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”.

Hon’ble Governor of Maharashtra Acclaims IIT Bombay and Looks at the Healthcare Landscape Ahead

The Hon’ble Governor of Maharashtra, Shri Ramesh Bais conveyed his appreciation to the team behind India’s first indigenous Gene Therapy in the battle against cancer. Stressing the importance of collaboration between academia and industry, Shri Bais asserted, “In any advanced country, academia-industry collaboration is the key cornerstone.”

Reflecting on the future of healthcare in India, Shri Bais added, “Viksit Bharat will also need to ensure 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 breakthrough innovations. Cell and gene therapy will be an important aspect of it from treating cancers, to genetic disorders like sickle cell anaemia and many other challenges that come with an ageing population. Not only do we have to ensure that we can 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.”


The dedication of NexCAR19 therapy by the Hon’ble President of India marks a moment of tremendous pride and achievement for IIT Bombay. This milestone, achieved through collaborative efforts, not only exemplifies the Institute’s commitment to healthcare innovation but also underscores its significant contribution to addressing critical healthcare challenges in the nation. As India strides forward in the realm of medical science, initiatives like NexCAR19 pave the way for a brighter and healthier future for all.