This weekend, a controversy erupted at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) relating to Juno’s chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy following a series of tweets by Jonah Lomu, a keen biotech investor:
A total of 3 CAR trials by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have suspended enrollment as of 4/3 http://t.co/2qNWFpbBF4
— j l (@lomu_j) April 4, 2014
This innocuous looking tweet started a maelstrom of speculation and wild rumours that spiraled a little out of control. This was perhaps not helped by Dr Michel Sandelin being a little caught off guard after his presentation yesterday, essentially saying, ‘no comment’ and that the trials were stopped for ‘safety reasons’. Rather than calm things down, it unfortunately added fuel to the fire.
Yesterday, we spoke remotely with Dr Renier Brentjens (MSKCC) off the record and ascertained that the furore, far from being a major incident that impacts the whole field negatively, was actually a tempest in a tea cup that has been blown out of all proportion.
After his invited presentation and Dr June’s discussion in the clinical trials symposium today, Dr Brentjens agreed to answer our questions on the record to provide some detail and straight facts to put things in context to address the concerns.
To learn what Dr Brentjens had to say in this exclusive interview, sign in below – it makes for very interesting listening: