Connect with us

Published

on

In a first for India, Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy, a type of gene therapy for blood cancer treatment, was successfully conducted last Friday at the Bone Marrow Transplant unit at the Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC), Tata Memorial Hostpital in Mumbai in collaboration with IIT Bombay. The Central government has now allocated Rs 19.15 crore to conduct first-in-human phase-I/ II clinical trials of the CAR-T cells, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), part of the Ministry of Science and Technology, said on Thursday. The CAR-T therapy has emerged as a breakthrough in cancer treatment, and clinical trials across the globe have shown promising results in end-stage patients, particularly the ones suffering from acute lymphocytic leukemia.

Despite a proven therapeutic potential for cancer patients, this gene therapy is still not available in India. A patient’s CAR-T cell therapy costs Rs. 3-4 crore and, therefore, the challenge lies in not just developing the technology at scale but also bring the cost down. And last Friday’s success may just be the first step in that direction. The CAR-T cells were designed and manufactured at IIT Bombay’s Bioscience and Bioengineering (BSBE) department.

Subhasis Chaudhuri, the director of IIT Bombay, said: “Our scientists along with Tata Memorial Hospital have come out with the most sophisticated therapy in cancer treatment. If the trials are successful, it may save millions of lives by making the treatment available in India at an affordable cost.”

The clinical trials for the “first in India” gene therapy are being conducted by Dr. (Surg Cdr) Gaurav Narula, Professor of Paediatric Oncology and Health Sciences, and his team from TMC, Mumbai. The novel CAR-T cells that will act as drugs were manufactured by Professor Rahul Purwar, Bioscience and Bioengineering (BSBE) department, and his team at IIT Bombay. The design, development, and extensive pre-clinical testing were carried out by IIT-B as a collaborative project with Tata Memorial Center, Mumbai by the two investigators, DBT said via a press release.

The work is partly supported by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC). The National Biopharma Mission, under DBT-BIRAC, is also supporting the TMC-IIT Bombay in the Phase I/II trial of their CAR-T product.

Besides this, the National Biopharma Mission is also supporting the development of a Lentiviral vector manufacturing facility for packaging plasmids used to transfer the modified T cell inside the body, a cGMP facility for T-cell transduction, and the expansion for CAR T-cell manufacturing to two other organisations.


Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

Continue Reading

Science

Government Eases Approval Process for FDI in Space Sector

Published

on

By

Government Eases Approval Process for FDI in Space Sector

India will allow 100% foreign direct investment in the manufacture of satellite systems without official approval and eased the rules for launch vehicles, a government statement said, aiming for a greater share of the global space market.

India’s space ambitions got a boost when it became the first country to land a spacecraft near the unexplored south pole of the moon in August – and the fourth to achieve a soft landing – just days after a similar Russian mission failed.

The government said in a statement late on Wednesday that foreign companies could invest in the manufacture of components and systems or sub-systems for satellites up to 100% without approval.

Foreign firms planning to build satellites in India would not require government approval up to 74% of the investment; for investment in launch vehicles, investment could go up to 49% without such approval, the statement said.

India has privatised space launches and is aiming for a five-fold increase in its share of the global launch market, which some expect to be worth $47.3 billion by 2032. India currently accounts for about 2% of the space economy.

The country hopes that liberalised rules for the space sector, long controlled by the government, will draw interest from Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, among others.

The foreign direct investment policy reform is expected to boost employment and will allow companies to set up manufacturing facilities in India, the government said in the statement.

“This will give India access to the latest tech advances and much-needed funds, not only from the country but from international investors too,” said A.K. Bhatt, director general of the Indian Space Association.

Space-related India stocks such as Paras Defence and Space Technologies , MTAR Technologies, Taneja Aerospace and Aviation and Apollo Micro Systems climbed 2% to 5% on Thursday.

© Thomson Reuters 2024


(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details.

For details of the latest launches and news from Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, OnePlus, Oppo and other companies at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, visit our MWC 2024 hub.

Continue Reading

Science

Neuralink Switches Location From Delaware to Nevada

Published

on

By

Neuralink Switches Location From Delaware to Nevada

Elon Musk‘s brain-chip implant company, Neuralink, changed its location of incorporation from Delaware to Nevada, according to the business portals of both states.

The development comes about a week after Musk said Tesla would hold a shareholder vote to transfer its state of incorporation to Texas from Delaware after a judge invalidated his $56 billion (roughly Rs. 4,64,880 crore) pay package.

However, switching the state of incorporation for Tesla could come with hurdles such as investor lawsuits, particularly if it was seen as a move to secure his pay package, legal experts said.

Musk said last week that Neuralink had implanted its first brain chip in a human patient, who was recovering well after the procedure.

Neuralink did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

In September 2023, the company received approval from an independent review board to begin recruitment for the first human trial of its brain implant for paralysis patients.

Those with paralysis due to cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis may qualify for the study, it said but did not reveal how many participants would be enrolled in the trial, which will take about six years to complete.

The study will use a robot to surgically place a brain-computer interface (BCI) implant in a region of the brain that controls the intention to move, Neuralink said, adding that its initial goal is to enable people to control a computer cursor or keyboard using their thoughts alone.

© Thomson Reuters 2024


Is the iQoo Neo 7 Pro the best smartphone you can buy under Rs. 40,000 in India? We discuss the company’s recently launched handset and what it has to offer on the latest episode of Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details.

For details of the latest launches and news from Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, OnePlus, Oppo and other companies at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, visit our MWC 2024 hub.

Continue Reading

Science

Elon Musk’s Neuralink Installs Brain Implant in Human for the First Time

Published

on

By

Elon Musk’s Neuralink Installs Brain Implant in Human for the First Time

Neuralink, the California-based neurotechnology company, has implanted a wireless brain chip in a human for the first time, revealed co-founder Elon Musk. The big development was revealed by Musk on January 29 via a series of posts on X (formerly known as Twitter). Neuralink has been working on creating implantable brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). Last year in May, the company received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct human trials. In September 2023, the neurotechnology firm began its human trial recruitment.

Announcing in a post, Musk said, “The first human received an implant from Neuralink yesterday and is recovering well. Initial results show promising neuron spike detection.” He also revealed separately that the first BCI product by the company had been named Telepathy. The brain chip enables the control of a computer or a smartphone just by thinking, claimed the co-founder. Interestingly, the company posted a video on YouTube in 2021 where a monkey could be seen controlling a game of ping-pong with his mind, after being implanted with the chip.

“Imagine if Stephen Hawking could communicate faster than a speed typist or auctioneer. That is the goal,” he added. The first users of the product will be those who have lost the use of their limbs.

While Neuralink received its FDA approval to conduct human trials last year, it rejected an application to pursue the same in 2022. At the time, the regulatory body had cited major safety concerns involving “the device’s lithium battery; the potential for the implant’s tiny wires to migrate to other areas of the brain; and questions over whether and how the device can be removed without damaging brain tissue,” as per a report by Reuters.

In a 2019 presentation, Musk explained that Neuralink BCIs were composed mostly of polyimide alongside a thin gold or platinum conductor. These were inserted into the brain through an automated process performed by a surgical robot. The chip contains a high number of ultra-thin nodules with wires called probes. The endings of these probes contain electrodes that are capable of locating and reading electrical signals in brain. These signals are then wirelessly transmitted to a device which can convert it into electronic commands to control a device.

In the past, the company has conducted extensive tests on animals and has claimed a high success rate. While performing a successful brain chip implant is a major milestone, the success of the product will be determined by its long-term performance and lack of side effects.


Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details.

For details of the latest launches and news from Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, OnePlus, Oppo and other companies at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, visit our MWC 2024 hub.

Continue Reading

Trending