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Scorpion venom added to CAR-T therapy increases efficacy in brain cancer, research shows

Chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy has gained much traction and attention in the past years for its innovative and effective approach to treatment-resistant cancers.

The technology refers to the process by which cells are extracted from the patient’s body and edited in a laboratory before being returned to the patient via infusion. These newly engineered cells are then better equipped to target the patient’s cancer.

J&J's CAR-T candidate boasts 100% response rate in relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma

Johnson & Johnson were present at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting over the weekend to unveil new data on its B cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-directed chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy JNJ-4528 in the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (MM).

The study focused on MM patients who had received at least three prior lines of therapy or were double refractory to a proteasome inhibitor (PI) and an immunomodulatory drug (IMiD); had received a PI, IMiD and an anti-CD38 antibody.

Gilead subsidiary Kite Pharma to open CAR-T manufacturing facility in Maryland

Gilead Sciences subsidiary Kite Pharma has announced plans to open a new CAR-T manufacturing facility in Frederick County, Maryland (US).

The new 20-acre site will extend the firm’s ability to manufacture various CAR-T therapies including Kite’s cancer treatment Yescarta.

Tim Moore, Executive VP of Technical Operations at Kite, explained: “This new facility in Frederick County builds on our substantial technical capabilities and rapid progress in making personalised CAR-T and TCR cell therapies for people with cancer.”

Gilead's CAR-T therapy Yescarta rejected for NHS use in Scotland

It’s bad news for Scottish patients living with aggressive forms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) as it emerges that the Scottish Medicines Consortium has chosen to reject Gilead’s CAR-T therapy Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel).

The decision means that patients who may have exhausted all other avenues of treatment will not be able to receive the treatment on the NHS in Scotland, with many not expected to survive longer than six months in these cases.

Novartis' CAR-T therapy Kymriah gets NICE green light in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

NICE has announced another momentous decision for lymphoma patients in England and Wales:, recommending Novartis’ chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) for the treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell forms of the condition (DLBCL) who have not responded or have relapsed after two courses of chemotherapy.

It is estimated that 200 patients will be eligible to access the treatment each year in England and Wales.

Takeda unveils three new discovery and development collaborations in immuno-oncology

Takeda has revealed that it is set to bolster its novel immuno-oncology portfolio with three new research collaborations. The Japanese pharmaceutical firm has struck an alliance with the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) in New York City, while also expanding two existing partnerships.

The deal with MSK will focus on the discovery and development of CAR-T drug products to treat blood cancers and solid tumours, including multiple myeloma and acute myeloid leukaemia.

Gilead's CAR-T therapy Yescarta shows two-year response duration in large B-cell lymphoma

Gilead has gone head to head with Novartis at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting 2018, meeting the latter’s reveal of data on rival Kymriah with study findings of its own CAR-T therapy Yescarta (Axicabtagene Ciloleucel).

The findings revealed that after a minimum follow-up of two years after a single Yescarta infusion – and a median follow-up of 27.1 months – 39% of participants achieved an ongoing response in the treatment of refractory large B-cell lymphoma; in this group, 93% of those experiencing response at 12 months went on to maintain a response after 24

Kymriah to be made available in UK for paediatric leukaemia patients via Cancer Drugs Fund

NICE has announced its recommendation that Novartis’ CAR-T cell therapy Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) be made available in the treatment of relapsed or refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) for patients under the age of 25 via the Cancer Drugs Fund.

Eligible patients within this age range will have proven unresponsive to current treatment – blinatumomab or chemotherapy – or relapsed following stem cell transplant, so it has been estimated that around 25 to 30 people will benefit from the decision in England each year.

CHMP recommends Novartis' CAR-T therapy Kymriah for EU approval

Image Credit: Novartis

The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approve Novartis’ CAR-T therapy Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel, formerly CTL019).

The blood cancer treatment gained FDA approval in August 2017 having initially been developed by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. Following a recommendation from the CHMP, the CAR-T cell therapy will now be reviewed by the EMA for approval in the European Union.

FDA places hold on Ziopharm CAR-T trial

CAR-T is emerging as one of the most potentially exciting therapies in the industry, particularly as a beacon for the collective push towards personalised treatment, so it is unsurprising that many small biotechs are currently pursuing treatments within this space.

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