Novartis is upbeat about the future of CAR-Ts and TCRs 

The life sciences industry has just scratched the surface in terms of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy’s potential, according to a session at the Novartis Breakthrough Science media event held on November 10.

CAR-T therapy, which has emerged as one of the most promising new treatments for multiple myeloma, certain lymphomas and B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, has found growing use in recent years. The treatment, however, is often expensive.

Manufacturing of CAR-Ts continues to improve, however. And in recent years, researchers have made progress in enhancing the fitness of CAR-T cells so that they have more potential for proliferation and “hopefully, overall, better benefit and higher response rates,” said Jennifer Brogdon, executive director, head of cell therapy research, department of exploratory immuno-oncology at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research.

Manufacturing breakthroughs have enabled the therapy to be used …

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Novartis’s Kymriah fails in study focused on aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Novartis (SWX:NOVN) has announced that the genetically modified autologous T cell immunotherapy Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) failed to meet the primary endpoint in its Phase 3 BELINDA trial. That endpoint involved event-free survival for people with aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma compared to standard of care. To qualify for the study, patients needed to have primary refractory disease or have relapsed within 12 months of receiving first-line treatment. 

Two other companies, Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) and Gilead Sciences (NSDQ:GILD), recently announced successful data in similar studies involving Breyanzi and Yescarta, respectively.

Bristol Myers Squibb received FDA approval for Breyanzi as third-line therapy in February. 

FDA granted accelerated approval to Yescarta for relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma in March. 

The standard of care in the treatment was salvage chemotherapy. Also known as rescue therapy, salvage chemotherapy …

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