With the startling news this morning that Poseida Therapeutics are abandoning their IPO plans and pursuing a different tack with a $142M investment from Novartis to fund clinical trials for their BCMA-directed CAR T cell therapy program in multiple myeloma, our attention is focused yet again on the highly competitive BCMA niche.
Poseida’s data was revealed at ASH last December and with an ORR of 63%, the initial efficacy was a bit lower than we have seen from rivals Bluebird Bio and Legend/JNJ, although the Penn/Novartis construct reported disappointingly lower responses in a small cohorts of patients, which may explain Novartis’s interest.
There are also other companies/products in this niche including GSK’s ADC, GSK2857916, and Amgen’s T cell bispecific, AMG 420, plus plenty of others with BCMAxCD3 bispecifics who have earlier skin in this increasingly highly competitive game.
Is BCMA enough though? Is it really the answer to multiple myeloma or are there other approaches that might be better?
What of the future for CAR T cell therapies in myeloma beyond the initial generation 2.0 constructs?
We saw a vision for how this market might evolve and sought out some experts to learn more about what they are doing in this niche – what they had to say was really interesting.
After all, as Wayne Gretsky would say, don’t skate to where the hockey puck is (now) but where it will be… that’s a great analogy one cannot resist borrowing for the future of cell therapy in multiple myeloma.
In our latest article, we go beyond BCMA to explore where we think the field might be going and why a tunnel focus on BCMA might not be such a great thing…