One of the most common questions we have received from subscribers in the last 6 months relates to Bellicum Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: BLCM) and the opportunity for their adjunct T Cell therapy in development for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), BPX–501. This product is given after the transplant and uses genetically modified donor T cells incorporating a CaspaCIDe safety switch.
We first wrote an in-depth piece about Bellicum and BPX-501 back in January 2015 with an interview with their CEO and CMO for those interested in more background (Link).
At the recent 2016 BMT Tandem meeting in Hawaii, we had the opportunity to hear the latest data on trends in haplo-identical (Haplo) bone marrow transplants. This posts reviews some of the data presented and considers the implication of this on the market opportunity for Bellicum.
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Several subscribers have written to ask what we think of Houston based Bellicum Pharmaceuticals?
Bellicum is a company that along with Novartis, Kite, Juno and Cellectis has a Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell therapy in development, amongst other things.
Readers already know the company had a successful IPO in December (NASDAQ: BLCM) and were reported to have raised $140M to fund future development.
This morning, the company announced enrollment of the first cohort of pediatric patients in a phase 1/2 dose escalation trial of BPX-501 (link to press release). This T cell therapy aims to mitigate the risk of graft versus host disease (GvHD) after an allogeneic haploid hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
BSB spoke with Bellicum CEO Tom Farrell and COO Dr Annemarie Moseley to answer some of the questions we think subscribers would like to know more about such as:
- Market opportunity for BPX-501
- Mechanism of action of BPX-501
- Strategic direction the company is taking
- Vision with regards to its CAR-T development
- Milestones expected in 2015
We’ve provided some additional commentary on the challenges and opportunities Bellicum may face in the GvHD market and how we think the company stacks up against the competition in the CAR-T space. Be warned this piece is a long read: 6,000+ words!
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