Now that at two CAR T cell therapies have been approved by the FDA in two indications, what does the future hold for new developments in both hematologic malignancies and solid tumours?
It was astonishing to explore the poster halls at AACR last month and see just how many new players and targets are emerging left, right and centre.
Last week we highlighted an up and coming new player on the scene, Mustang Bio, but what about the original pioneers in this niche and what are they up to these days?
To answer this question, we tracked down Dr Renier Brentjens at Memorial Sloan Kettering while in Chicago to learn more about his latest work and where he sees the future of CAR T cell therapy heading. It makes for a very interesting, and at times, surprising read…
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For the last couple of years at every annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) conference, I have posted an extensive Preview of the CAR T cell therapy landscape and looked at which abstracts piqued my interest.
The roaring 30s CAR
This year the review is the most extensive to date, with more companies, more research groups, more tumour types and way more preclinical research coming through. It’s like a kaleidoscope of ideas cascading through R&D.
The other thing to take note is how fast the field is moving – it’s warp speed now and so much comes through the literature every month on top of that.
So here we go – hold onto your hats as there is a LOT to contemplate this year!
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SITC 2017 at the Gaylord Hotel, MD
It’s that time of year already and it has come around so fast in 2017… yes it’s the annual meeting for the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (aka SITC).
This year there are several eagerly anticipated presentations, one of which is Juno’s ill-fated ROCKET trial in adult ALL using their JCAR015 CAR T cell therapy.
While Novartis and Kite both successfully made it to market recently in pediatric ALL and aggressive lumphomas, respectively, Juno were left languishing in a poor third place after a series of lethal cerebral oedemas scuppered the program. In the meantime, Novartis are relentless chasing Kite with their JULIET trial in DLBCL and could well have the third CAR T cell therapy indication.
Finally, we heard for the first time today what the company learned from the recent analysis of the deaths, which they shared with the field this morning. BSB was on the spot to hear more about what the CMO, Dr Mark Gilbert had to say and we also have some thought leader sentiments on their perspective of the findings.
That’s not all though, as there was also new data on checkpoint blockade and other immunotherapies that are in early development as well as developments on the biomarker front.
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And we’re off on the infamous ASH DASH…
Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park
The annual data drop for the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting in Atlanta, Georgia is finally here.
Each year we write a series of in-depth previews ahead of the event exploring different aspects of hematologic malignancies in terms of what’s important, what to watch out for, and also key abstracts that may (or may not) have an impact.
This year we kick off the first of our series with a look at aggressive lymphomas and novel therapies in development including CAR T cell therapies, antibodies, ADCs and targeted therapies. There are some surprsies (of course) and also some potentially interesting relationships and consequences to consider.
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We have long argued that by the time 2nd Generation CAR T cell therapies hit the market they will almost be obsolete and next generation versions will already be in advanced clinical testing. The product life cycle in this niche is likely to be a very rapid one, much more so than in other areas of cancer research.
The critical question isn’t when these new constructs will be available, but rather what form will they take? What will they look like, and which issues will they address?
Several researchers are leading the way in the CAR T cell therapy space, but a recent presentation by one expert in this field reinforced how he is making a transition from pioneer to disruptor.
In this post we explore some of the issues and ideas he discussed in a vision for the future.
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Yesterday Novartis announced the initial data from the JULIET trial in relapsed/refractory aggressive lymphomas such as diffuse large cell lymphomas (DLBCL) that were presented at the upcoming International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma (iCML) meeting in Lugano.
Here at BSB, we’ve been following CAR T cell therapy developments in earnest since 2012 when Penn and Novartis first announced their collaboration to develop what is now known as CTL019.
Five years on, we now have two such cell therapy products already filed with the Health Authorities and the JULIET trial will likely be the third indication submitted by the end of the year. This niche is now well established for regular readers and not something that has been a flash in the pan over a year or so.
There are a few interesting points of note on the CAR T cell front that are also worth exploring in conjunction with this news.
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Although ASH and ASGCT are important meetings for CAR T cell therapies, there are still some intriguing data to be had at ASCO next month, including both oral and poster abstracts.
In our latest ASCO 2017 Preview, we take a look at what to expect from in the CAR T cell space.
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We’re overdue a roundup and discussion on various key topics of interest to BSB readers, so here goes…
Today’s topics include an in-depth look at the impact of some negative events:
- Kite and the cerebral oedema death with axi-cel
- Genentech’s atezolizumab OS miss in urothelial cancer
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Some cancer conferences attract more questions and queries than others.
Old Town San Diego
Interestingly, ASH is always a popular meeting for attendees and readers alike, so it is good to see another batch of critical questions come in so soon after the last one. It’s a while since we did two BSB reader Q&A mailbags from a single meeting!
Not surprisingly, there were also a bunch of questions on CAR T cell therapies, which continue to dominate readers minds, as well as related issues. Here, we answer the most pressing questions that have come in over the last week.
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San Diego – Monday at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (#ASH16) is typically a day of multiple oral sessions in parallel.
This year it was a major challenge doing a mad dash between sessions as the meeting is now so big that in San Diego it’s being held, not only at the vast convention center, but is also using the meeting rooms of three nearby three hotels – it’s literally a mile walk to go from one end of the convention to the other, so you have to factor that time into your crazed schedule with multiple clashes.
On the positive side, there’s even courtesy pedicabs – cycle rickshaws (great idea & fun) – I caught one at 7am the other day to save my toes from at least one #blisterwalk…
Following on from our ASH Highlights 2016 Part 1, this post answers critical BSB Reader questions that have come in thick and fast and require more than 140 characters on Twitter to answer.
Predictably, the majority of the first tranche of questions have been CAR T cell therapy related, so if you have a keen interest in this area, this is the post for you. We tackle 5 critical questions and offer some insights.
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