In the journey of our Cancer Immunotherapy blog series, let us introduce CAR-T cell therapy, another milestone in recent years in the field of immunotherapy that has revolutionized the modern medicine. Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell therapy utilizes T-cells, a type of white blood cell (immune cells), to fight cancer by engineering them ex vivo prior to infusing back into the patient. These CAR T-cells can specifically find and destroy cancerous cells. CAR T-cell therapy is a type of cell-based gene therapy or Adoptive Cell Therapy (ACT) as it involves gene alteration of T-cells that enables them to attack specific cancer cells.
The Indian pharmaceutical industry has seen an exponential growth in the field of fill finished dosage forms, especially generics but the future lies beyond generics in the field of complex generics, biosimilairs, vaccines and New Chemical Entities (NCE)/New Biological Entities (NBE). Developing NCEs and NBEs will position Indian companies in the ivy league of global innovators. Risk adverseness, lack of perseverance and complex, long regulatory approval process are impeding Indian pharma companies to venture into NCE/NBE research. Product portfolio expansion into complex generic injectables is an attractive high-return alternative for the Indian generic pharmaceutical industries.
Cancer is a primary leading disease for mortality in the world. Immunotherapy is the latest trend for curing cancer and thus biopharmaceutical industry has developed a keen interest and manufactured several drug products such as monoclonal antibodies for immunotherapy. Programmed Cell Death Protein 1 (PD-1) evades immune response and promotes self-tolerance by modulating the activity of T-cells, activating apoptosis of antigen-specific T cells, and inhibiting apoptosis of regulatory T-cells. On the other hand, Programmed Cell Death Ligand 1 (PD-L1) is a trans-membrane protein and it’s a co-inhibitory factor of the immune response1. Cancer Immunotherapy has been designed to increase the specificity and strength of the immune system against cancer. James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo won the 2018 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for discovering a cancer treatment by suppressing negative immunomodulation.