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New blood cancer treatment appears successful for most trial patients

Published on 12/12/22 at 10:58am

A new and experimental immunotherapy treatment has appeared successful in treating patients with multiple myeloma in an ongoing phase 1/2 clinical trial. The blood cancer treatment has seen successful response rates in 73% of patients, and an application has been submitted to the FDA to bring the drug to market.

The new immunotherapy is known as talquetamab and is a bispecific T cell engager antibody, which is a relatively new form of treatment. The antibody is engineered to bind to CD3 receptors on immune T cells, and GPRC5D receptors found in high levels on cancerous plasma cells. The drug essentially aims to connect immune cells with cancer cells, placing a target on the cancer cells while giving the immune cells a map to the cancerous cell.

The phase 1/2 trial for talquetamab included several hundred multiple myeloma patients, with two doses of the drug on either a weekly or fortnightly dosing schedule. Across all of the groups, the trial saw 73% of patients responding well to the treatment.

Johnson & Johnson said in a press release, “With a median follow-up of 14.9 months (range 0.5+ to 29.0), 74.1% of patients treated at the SC 0.4mg/kg dose administered weekly achieved a response, 59.4% achieved a very good partial response or better, 33.6% achieved a complete response or better and 23.8% achieved a stringent complete response.”

Sen Zhuang, vice president of clinical R&D at Janssen Research & Development, commented: “Following our recent Biologics License Application submission to the US FDA, we look forward to working with the agency to make this available as a treatment option in the short term and continuing our longer-term investigations of talquetamab as we aim to develop additional options for patients with this complex blood cancer.”


Betsy Goodfellow

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