At the press conference where these data were presented, moderator Gary Schiller, MD, of the University of California, Los Angeles, explained that although chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is a major advance in cellular immunotherapy, enabling killing of cancer cells in blood and bone marrow, manufacturing this therapy depends on a time-consuming, laborious process that involves harvesting the patient’s own T cells, re-engineering the cells to target specific proteins on the cancer cells, and re-introducing them into the patient.
“The first generation of CAR T-cell therapies primarily targeted CD19. About one-third of patients with relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma achieved remission with CAR T-cell therapy. This new approach—FT596—attacks multiple targets beyond CD19 and replaces a complex manufacturing process; and it may be effective in patients who relapse on [existing] CAR T-cell therapies,” Dr. Schiller noted.
“This [off-the-shelf CAR natural killer cell] product is an attractive approach,” stated Dr. Schiller. “These data are preliminary, but FT596 is not HLA-restricted and can be used regardless of the recipient’s antigenicity. It should induce a different spectrum of cell-mediated toxicity [than existing CAR T-cell therapies], because it is not a T-cell product.” ■
DISCLOSURE: Dr. Schiller has received research funding or served as an advisor to or on the speakers bureau for Agios Pharmaceuticals, Astellas, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene, Constellation Pharmaceuticals, Daiichi Sankyo, Eli Lilly and Company, Fujifilm, Genzyme, Gilead, Incyte, Johnson & Johnson, Jazz, Karyopharm, Novartis, Onconova, Pfizer, Sangamo, HRSA, AbbVie, Actinium, Cerus, Deciphera, DeltaFly, Forma Therapeutics, Gaida, Mateon, PrECOG, Samus, Stemline, Toledo, and Trovagene.
A novel off-the-shelf chimeric antigen receptor natural killer cell (CAR-NK) product called FT596 may prove to be an active therapy for B-cell malignancies. This agent is designed to overcome several challenges inherent in CAR T-cell therapy, including CD19-antigen escape, which leads to relapse in ...