Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (AML), also called acute myeloblastic leukemia, acute myelogenous leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, or acute nonlymphocytic leukemia, is an aggressive, fast-growing, heterogenous group of blood cancers that arise as a result of clonal expansion of myeloid hematopoietic precursors in the bone marrow. Not only are circulating leukemia (blast) cells seen in the peripheral blood, but granulocytopenia, anemia, and thrombocytopenia are also common as proliferating leukemia cells interfere with normal hematopoiesis.

Approximately 40-45% of younger and 10-20% of older adults diagnosed with AML are cured with current standard chemotherapy. However, the outlook for patients with relapsed and/or refractory disease is gloomy. Relapse following conventional chemotherapy remains is a major cause of death.

The process of manufacturing chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies. [1] T-cells (represented by objects labeled as ‘t’) are removed from the patient’s blood. [2] Then in a lab setting the gene that encodes for the specific antigen receptors is incorporated into the T-cells. [3] Thus producing the CAR receptors (labeled as c) on the surface of the cells. [4] The newly modified T-cells are then further harvested and grown in the lab. [5]. After a certain time period, the engineered T-cells are infused back into the patient. This file is licensed by Reyasingh56 under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
Today, the only curative treatment option for patients with AML is allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation or allo-HSCT, which through its graft-vs.-leukemia effects has the ability to eliminate residual leukemia cells. But it is an ption for only a minority. And despite a long history of success, relapse following allo-HSCT is still a major challenge and is associated with poor prognosis.

In recent years, rresearchers learned a lot about the genomic and epigenomic landscapes of AML. This understanding has paved the way for rational drug development as new “drugable” targets, resulting in treatments including the antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) gemtuzumab ozogamycin (Mylotarg®; Pfizer/Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories).

CAR T-cell Therapies
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells therapies, using a patient’s own genetically modified T-cells to find and kill cancer, are one of the most exciting recent developments in cancer research and treatment.

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Traditional CAR T-cell therapies are an autologous, highly personalised, approach in which T-cells are collected from the patient by leukopheresis and engineered in the laboratory to express a receptor directed at a cancer antigen such as CD19. The cells are then infused back into the patient after administration of a lymphodepletion regimen, most commonly a combination of fludarabine and cyclophosphamide. Durable remissions have been observed in pediatric patients with B-ALL and adults with NHL.

CD19-targeted CAR T-cell therapies, have, over the last decade, yielded remarkable clinical success in certain types of B-cell malignancies, and researchers have made substantial efforts aimed at translating this success to myeloid malignancies.

While complete ablation of CD19-expressing B cells, both cancerous and healthy, is clinically tolerated, the primary challenge limiting the use of CAR T-cells in myeloid malignancies is the absence of a dispensable antigen, as myeloid antigens are often co-expressed on normal hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs), depletion of which would lead to intolerable myeloablation.

A different approach
Because autologous CAR T-cell therapies are patient-specific, each treatment can only be used for that one patient. Furthermore, because CAR T-cells are derived from a single disease-specific antibody, they are, by design, only recognized by one specific antigen. As a consequence, only a small subset of patients with any given cancer may be suited for the treatment.

This specificity means that following leukopheresis, a lot of work needs to be done to create this hyper personalised treatment option, resulting in 3 – 5 weeks of manufacturing time.

The manufacturing process of CAR T-cell therapies, from a single academic center to a large-scale multi-site manufacturing center further creates challenges. Scaling out production means developing processes consistent across many collection, manufacturing, and treatment sites. This complexity results in a the realitively high cost of currently available CAR T-cell therapies.

To solve some of the concerns with currently available CAR T-cell therapies, researchers are investigating the option to develop – allogenic, ‘off-the-shelf’ Universal CAR T-cell (UCARTs) treatments that can be mass manufactured and be used for multiple patients.

Allogeneic CAR T-cell therapy are generally created from T-cells from healthy donors, not patients. Similar to the autologous approach, donor-derived cells are shipped to a manufacturing facility to be genetically engineered to express the antibody or CAR, however, in contrast to autologous CAR T-cells, allogeneic CAR T-cells are also engineered with an additional technology used to limit the potential for a graft versus host reaction when administered to patients different from the donor.

One unique benefit ofn this approach is that because these therapies hey are ‘premade’ and available for infusion, there is no requirement to leukopheresis or a need to wait for the CAR T-cells to be manufactured. This strategy also will benefit patients who are cytopenic (which is not an uncommon scenario for leukemia patients) and from whom autologous T-cell collection is not possible.

Among the pioneers of developing allogeneic CAR-T therapies are companies including Celyad Oncology, Cellectis, Allogene Therapeutics, and researchers at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in colaboration with Kite/Gilead.

Researchers at UCLA were, for example, able to turn pluripotent stem cells into T-cells through structures called artificial thymic organoids. These organoids mimic the thymus, the organ where T-cells are made from blood stem cells in the body.

Celyad Oncology
Belgium-based Celyad Oncology is advancing a number of both autologous and allogeneic CAR T-cell therapies, including proprietary, non-gene edited allogeneic CAR T-cell candidates underpinned by the company’s shRNA technology platform. The shRNA platform coupled with Celyad’s all-in-one vector approach provides flexibility, versatility, and efficiency to the design of novel, off-the-shelf CAR T-cell candidates through a single step engineering process.

In July 2020, the company announced the start of Phase I trials with CYAD-211, Celyad’s first-in-class short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-based allogeneic CAR T candidate and second non-gene edited off-the-shelf program. CYAD-211 targets B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) for the treatment of relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma and is engineered to co-express a BCMA-targeting chimeric antigen receptor and a single shRNA, which interferes with the expression of the CD3ζ component of the T-cell receptor (TCR) complex.

During the 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Virtual Scientific Program in May 2020, the company presented updates from it’s allogeneic programs, including additional data from the alloSHRINK study, an open-label, dose-escalation Phase I trial assessing the safety and clinical activity of three consecutive administrations of CYAD-101, an investigational, non-gene edited, allogeneic CAR T-cell candidate engineered to co-express a chimeric antigen receptor based on NKG2D (a receptor expressed on natural killer (NK) cells that binds to eight stress-induced ligands and the novel inhibitory peptide TIM – TCR Inhibitory Molecule), for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC).

The expression of TIM reduces signalling of the TCR complex, which is responsible for graft-versus host disease.every two weeks administered concurrently with FOLFOX (combination of 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin and oxaliplatin) in patients with refractory metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC).

The safety and clinical activity data from the alloSHRINK trial in patients with mCRC demonstrated CYAD-101’s differentiated profile as an allogeneic CAR T-cell candidate. Furthermore, the absence of clinical evidence of graft-versus-host-disease (GvHD) for CYAD-101 confirms the potential of non-gene edited approaches for the development of allogeneic CAR-T  candidates.

Interim data from the alloSHRINK trial showed encouraging anti-tumor activity, with two patients achieving a confirmed partial response (cPR) according to RECIST 1.1 criteria, including one patient with a KRAS-mutation, the most common oncogenic alteration found in all human cancers. In addition, nine patients achieved stable disease (SD), with seven patients demonstrating disease stabilization lasting more than or equal to three months of duration.

Based on these results, clinical trials were broadened to include evaluating CYAD-101 following FOLFIRI (combination of 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin and irinotecan) preconditioning chemotherapy in refractory mCRC patients, at the recommended dose of one billion cells per infusion as an expansion cohort of the alloSHRINK trial. Enrollment in the expansion cohort of the trial is expected to begin during the fourth quarter of 2020.

Cellectis is developping a universal CAR T-cell (UCART) platform in an attempy to create ‘off-the-shelf’ CAR T-cell therapies. The company’s pipeline includes UCART123, a CAR T-cell therapy designed to targets CD123+ leukemic cells in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The investigational agent is being studied in two open-label Phase I trials: AML123 studying the therapy’s safety and efficacy in an estimated 156 AML patients, and ABC123 studying the therapy’s safety and activity in an estimated 72 patients with blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN).

Another investigational agent in clinical trials is UCART22 which is designed to treat both CD22+ B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) and CD22+ B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Cellectis reported that UCART22 is included in an open-label, dose-escalating Phase I trial to study its safety and activity in relapsed or refractory CD22+ B-ALL patients.

UCART22 harbors a surface expression of an anti-CD22 CAR (CD22 scFv-41BB-CD3z) and the RQR8 ligand, a safety feature rendering the T-cells sensitive to the antibody rituximab. Further, to reduce the potential for alloreactivity, the cell surface expression of the T-cell receptor is abrogated through the inactivation of the TCRα constant (TRAC) gene using Cellectis’ TALEN® gene-editing technology.[1]

Preclinical data supporting the development of UCART22 was presented by Marina Konopleva, M.D., Ph.D. and her vteam during the 2017 annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting. [1]

Cellectis is also developing UCARTCS1 which is developed to treat CS1-expressing hematologic malignancies, such as multiple myeloma (MM). UCARTCLL1 is in preclinical development for treating CLL1-expressing hematologic malignancies, such as AML.

Cellectis and Allogene Therapeutics, another biotech company involved in the developmen t of CAR T-cell therapies, are developing ALLO-501, another CAR T-cell therapy which targets CD19 and is being developed for the the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory NHL. Allogene Therapeutics is also developing ALLO-715, an investigational CAR T-cell therapy targeting the B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) for treating relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma and ALLO-819, which targets CD135 (also called FLT3), for treating relapsed or refractory AML.

Allogene, in collaboration with both Cellectis, Pfizer (which has a 25% stake in Allogene) and Servier have numerous active open-label, single-arm Phase I trials for an off-the-shelf allogeneic CAR-T therapy UCART19* in patients with relapsed or refractory CD19+ B-ALL.  Participating patients receive lymphodepletion with fludarabine and cyclophosphamide with alemtuzumab, followed by UCART19 infusion. Adults patients with R/R B-ALL are eligible.

The PALL aims to evaluate the safety and feasibility of UCART19 to induce molecular remission in pediatric patients with relapsed or refractory CD19-positive B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) in 18 pediatric patients.

The CALM trial is a dose-escalating study evaluating the therapy’s safety and tolerability in 40 adult patients; and a long-term safety and efficacy follow-up study in 200 patients with advanced lymphoid malignancies.

Allogene reported preliminary proof-of-concept results during the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in December 2018.

Data from the first 21 patients from both the PALL (n=7) and CALM (n=14) Phase I studies were pooled. The median age of the participating patients was 22 years (range, 0.8-62 years) and the median number of prior therapies was 4 (range, 1-6). Sixty-two percent of the patients (13/21) had a prior allogeneic stem cell transplant.

Of the 17 patients who received treatment with UCART19 and who received lymphodepletion with fludarabine, cyclophosphamide and alemtuzumab, an anti-CD52 monoclonal antibody, 14 patients (82%) achieved CR/CRi, and 59% of them (10/17) achieved MRD-negative remission.

In stark contrast, the four patients who only received UCART19 and fludarabine and cyclophosphamide without alemtuzumab did not see a response and minimal UCART19 expansion.

Based on these results, researchers noted that apparent importance of an anti-CD52 antibody for the efficacy of allogeneic CAR-T therapies. In addition, safety data also looked promising. The trial results did not include grade 3 or 4 neurotoxicity and only 2 cases of grade 1 graft-versus-host disease (10%), 3 cases of grade 3 or 4 cytokine release syndrome which were considered  manageable (14%), 5 cases of grade 3 or 4 viral infections (24%), and 6 cases of grade 4 prolonged cytopenia (29%).

Precision Biosciences
Precision Biosciences is developing PBCAR0191, an off-the-shelf investigational allogeneic CAR T-cell candidate targeting CD19. The drug candidate is being investigated in a Phase I/IIa multicenter, nonrandomized, open-label, parallel assignment, dose-escalation, and dose-expansion study for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory (R/R) non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) or R/R B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL).

The NHL cohort includes patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), an aggressive subtype of NHL, for which Precision has received both Orphan Drug and Fast Track Designations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

A clinical trial with PBCAR0191 Precision Biosciences is exploring some novel lymphodepletion strategies in addition to fludarabine and cyclophosphamide. Patients with R/R ALL, R/R CLL, R/R Richter transformation, and R/R NHL are eligible. Patients with MRD+ B-ALL are eligible as well. This trial is enrolling patients.

In late September 2020, Precision BioSciences, a clinical stage biotechnology amd Servier, announced the companies have added two additional hematological cancer targets beyond CD19 and two solid tumor targets to its CAR T-cell development and commercial license agreement.

PBCAR20A is an investigational allogeneic anti-CD20 CAR T-cell therapy being developed by Precision Biosciences  for the treartment of patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and patients with R/R chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or R/R small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL). The NHL cohort will include patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), an aggressive subtype of NHL, for which Precision BioSciences has received orphan drug designation from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

PBCAR20A is being evaluated in a Phase I/IIa multicenter, nonrandomized, open-label, dose-escalation and dose-expansion clinical trial in adult NHL and CLL/SLL patients. The trial will be conducted at multiple U.S. sites.

Precision Biosciences is, in collaboration with Springworks Therapeutics, also developing PBCAR269A, an allogeneic BCMA-targeted CAR T-cell therapy candidate being evaluated for the safety and preliminary clinical activity in a Phase I/IIa multicenter, nonrandomized, open-label, parallel assignment, single-dose, dose-escalation, and dose-expansion study of adults with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. In this trial, the starting dose of PBCAR269A is 6 x 105 CAR T cells/kg body weight with subsequent cohorts receiving escalating doses to a maximum dose of 6 x 106 CAR T cells/kg body weight.

PBCAR269A is Precision Biosciences’s third CAR T-cell candidate to advance to the clinic and is part of a pipeline of cell-phenotype optimized allogeneic CAR T-cell therapies derived from healthy donors and then modified via a simultaneous TCR knock-out and CAR T-cell knock-in step with the =company’s proprietary ARCUS® genome editing technology.

The FDA recently granted Fast Track Designation to PBCAR269A for the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma for which the FDA previously granted Orphan Drug Designation.

TCR Therapeutics
TCR2 Therapeutics is developing a proprietary TRuC™ (TCR Fusion Construct) T-cells designed to harness the natural T cell receptor complex to recognize and kill cancer cells using the full power of T-cell signaling pathways independent of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA).

While succesful in hematological malignancies, CAR T-cells therapies have generally  struggled to show efficacy against solid tumors. Researchers at TCR2 Therapeutics believe this is is caused by the fact that CAR T-cell therapies only utilize a single TCR subunit, and, as a result, do not benefit from all of the activation and regulatory elements of the natural TCR complex. By engineering TCR T-cells, which are designed to utilize the complete TCR, they have demonstrated clinical activity in solid tumors. However, this approach has also shown major limitations. TCR T-cells require tumors to express HLA to bind tumor antigens. HLA is often downregulated in cancers, preventing T-cell detection. In addition, each specific TCR-T cell therapy can only be used in patients with one of several specific HLA subtypes, limiting universal applicability of this approach and increasing the time and cost of patient enrollment in clinical trials.

In an attempt to solve this problem, researchers at TCR2 Therapeutics have developped a proprieatarry TRuC-T Cells which are designed to incorporate the best features of CAR-T and TCR-T cell therapies and overcome the limitations. The TRuC platform is a novel T cell therapy platform, which uses the complete TCR complex without the need for HLA matching.

By conjugating the tumor antigen binder to the TCR complex, the TRuC construct recognizes highly expressed surface antigens on tumor cells without the need for HLA and engage the complete TCR machinery to drive the totality of T-cell functions required for potent, modulated and durable tumor killing.

In preclinical studies, TCR2 Therapeutics TRuC T-cells technology has demonstrated superior anti-tumor activity in vivo compared to CAR T-cells therapies, while, at the same time, releasing lower levels of cytokines. These data are encouraging for the treatment of solid tumors where CAR T-cells have not shown significant clinical activity due to very short persistence and for hematologic tumors where a high incidence of severe cytokine release syndrome remains a major concern.

TCR2 Therapeutics product candidates include TC-210 and TC-110.

TC-210 is designed to targets mesothelin-positive solid tumors. While its expression in normal tissues is low, mesothelin is highly expressed in many solid tumors. Mesothelin overexpression has also been correlated with poorer prognosis in certain cancer types and plays a role in tumorigenesis. TC-210 is being developed for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, ovarian cancer, malignant pleural/peritoneal mesothelioma and cholangiocarcinoma.

The company’s TRuC-T cell targeting CD19-positive B-cell hematological malignancies, TC-110, is being developed to improve upon and address the unmet needs of current CD19-directed CAR T-cell therapies. The clinical development TC-110 focus on the treatment of adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and follicular lymphoma (FL). Preclinical data demonstrates that TC-110 is superior to CD19-CAR-T cells (carrying either 4-1BB or CD28 co-stimulatory domains) both in anti-tumor activity as well as the level of cytokine release which may translate into lower rates of adverse events. The development of TC-110 starts with autologous T-cells collection by leukopheresis. These T-cells undergo genetic engineering to create ‘TRuC-T’ cells targeting CD19.

This strategy combines the best features of CAR T-cells and the native T-cell receptor. It is open for R/R NHL and R/R B-ALL.

Auto1 is an autologous CD19 CAR T-cell investigational therapyis being developped by Autolus Therapeutics. The investigational drug uses a single-chain variable fragment (scFv) called CAT with a lower affinity for CD19 and a faster off-rate compared to the FMC63 scFv used in other approved CD19 CAR T-cell therapies. The investigational therapy is designed to overcome the limitations in safety – while maintaining similar levels of efficacy – compared to current CD19 CAR T-cell therapies.

Designed to have a fast target binding off-rate to minimize excessive activation of the programmed T-cells, AUTO1 may reduce toxicity and be less prone to T-cell exhaustion, which could enhance persistence and improve the T-cells’ abilities to engage in serial killing of target cancer cells.

In 2018, Autolus signed a license agreement UCL Business plc (UCLB), the technology-transfer company of UCL, to develop and commercialize AUTO1 for the treatment of B cell malignancies. AUTO1 is currently being evaluated in two Phase I studies, one in pediatric ALL and one in adult ALL.

Initial results from the ongoing Phase I CARPALL trial of AUTO1 were presented during European Hematology Association 1st European CAR T Cell Meeting held in Paris, France, February 14-16, 2019.

Enrolled patients had a median age of 9 years with a median of 4 lines of prior treatment.  Seventeen patients were enrolled, and 14 patients received an infusion of CAR T cells. Ten of 14 patients had relapsed post allogeneic stem cell transplant. Eight patients were treated in second relapse, 5 in > second relapse and 3 had relapsed after prior blinatumomab or inotuzumab therapy. Two patients had ongoing CNS disease at enrollment.

This data confirmed that AUTO1 did not induces severe cytokine release syndrome (CRS) (Grade 3-5).  Nine patients experienced Grade 1 CRS, and 4 patients experienced Grade 2 CRS.  No patients required tociluzumab or steroids. As previously reported, one patient experienced Grade 4 neurotoxicity; there were no other reports of severe neurotoxicity (Grade 3-5). The mean cumulative exposure to AUTO1 CAR T-cells in the first 28 days as assessed by AUC was 1,721,355 copies/µg DNA. Eleven patients experienced cytopenia that was not resolved by day 28 or recurring after day 28: 3 patients Grades 1-3 and 8 patients Grade 4. Two patients developed significant infections, and 1 patient died from sepsis while in molecular complete response (CR).

With a single dose of CAR T cells at 1 million cells/kg dose, 12/14 (86%) achieved molecular CR. Five patients relapsed with CD19 negative disease. Event free survival (EFS) based on morphological relapse was 67% (CI 34-86%) and 46% (CI 16-72%) and overall survival (OS) was 84% (CI 50-96%) and 63% (CI 27-85%) at 6 and 12 months, respectively.

CAR T cell expansion was observed in all responding patients (N=12), with CAR T cells comprising up to 84% of circulating T cells at the point of maximal expansion. The median persistence of CAR T-cells was 215 days.

The median duration of remission in responding patients was 7.3 months with a median follow-up of 14 months. Five of 14 patients (37%) remain in CR with ongoing persistence of CAR T-cells and associated B cell aplasia.

Fate Therapeutics
FT819 is an off-the-shelf CAR T-cell therapy targeting CD19 being developed by Fate Therapeutics. The T-cells are derived from a clonal engineered master induced pluripotent stem cell line (iPSCs) with a novel 1XX CAR targeting CD19 inserted into the T-cell receptor alpha constant (TRAC) locus and edited for elimination of T-cell receptor (TCR) expression.

Patients participating in the company’s clinbical trial will receive lymphodepletion with fludarabine and cyclophosphamide. Some patients will also receive IL-2. Patients with R/R ALL, R/R CLL, R/R Richter transformation, and R/R NHL are eligible. Patients with MRD+ B-ALL are eligible as well.

At the Annual Meeting of the American Societ of Hematology held in December 2019, researchers from Fate Therapeutics presented new in vivo preclinical data demonstrating that FT819 exhibits durable tumor control and extended survival. In a stringent xenograft model of disseminated lymphoblastic leukemia, FT819 demonstrated enhanced tumor clearance and control of leukemia as compared to primary CAR19 T-cells. At Day 35 following administration, a bone marrow assessment showed that FT819 persisted and continued to demonstrate tumor clearance, whereas primary CAR T cells, while persisting, were not able to control tumor growth. [2]

Allogeneic cord blood-derived Natural Killer (NK) cells are another off-the-shelf product that does not require the collection of cells from each patient.

Unlike T-cells, NK-cells do not cause GVHD and can be given safely in the allogeneic setting. At MD Anderson Cancer Center, Katy Rezvani, M.D., Ph.D, Professor, Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, and her team broadly focuses their research on the role of natural killer (NK) cells in mediating protection against hematologic malignancies and solid tumors and strategies to enhance killing function against various cancer.

As part of their research, the team has developed a novel cord blood-derived NK-CAR product that expresses a CAR against CD19; ectopically produces IL-15 to support NK-cell proliferation and persistence in vivo; and expresses a suicide gene, inducible caspase 9, to address any potential safety concerns.

In this phase I and II trial researchers administered HLA-mismatched anti-CD19 CAR-NK cells derived from cord blood to 11 patients with relapsed or refractory CD19-positive cancers (non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or chronic lymphocytic leukemia [CLL]). NK cells were transduced with a retroviral vector expressing genes that encode anti-CD19 CAR, interleukin-15, and inducible caspase 9 as a safety switch. The cells were expanded ex vivo and administered in a single infusion at one of three doses (1×105, 1×106, or 1×107 CAR-NK cells per kilogram of body weight) after lymphodepleting chemotherapy. The preliminarry resilts of the trials confirmed that administration of CAR-NK cells was not associated with the development of cytokine release syndrome, neurotoxicity, or graft-versus-host disease, and there was no increase in the levels of inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin-6, over baseline.

The study results also demonstrated that of the 11 patients who were treated, 8 patients (73%) had a response. Of these patients, 7 (4 with lymphoma and 3 with CLL) had a complete remission ICR), and 1 had remission of the Richter’s transformation component but had persistent CLL. Noteworthy was that responses were rapid and seen within 30 days after infusion at all dose levels. The infused CAR-NK cells expanded and persisted at low levels for at least 12 months. The researchers also noted that a majority of the 11 participating patients with relapsed or refractory CD19-positive cancers had a response to treatment with CAR-NK cells without the development of major toxic effects.[3]

* Servier will hold ex-US commercial rights. Servier is the sponsor of the UCART19 trials.

Clinical trials
alloSHRINK – Standard cHemotherapy Regimen and Immunotherapy With Allogeneic NKG2D-based CYAD-101 Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cells – NCT03692429
Study Evaluating Safety and Efficacy of UCART123 in Patients With Relapsed/ Refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AMELI-01) – NCT03190278
Study to Evaluate the Safety and Clinical Activity of UCART123 in Patients With BPDCN (ABC123) – NCT03203369
Study of UCART19 in Pediatric Patients With Relapsed/Refractory B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (PALL) – NCT02808442
Dose Escalation Study of UCART19 in Adult Patients With Relapsed / Refractory B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (CALM) – NCT02746952
Dose-escalation Study of Safety of PBCAR0191 in Patients With r/r NHL and r/r B-cell ALL – NCT03666000.
Dose-escalation Study of Safety of PBCAR20A in Subjects With r/r NHL or r/r CLL/SLL – NCT04030195
A Dose-escalation Study to Evaluate the Safety and Clinical Activity of PBCAR269A in Study Participants With Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma – NCT04171843
TC-110 T Cells in Adults With Relapsed or Refractory Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma or Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia – NCT04323657
Phase 1/2 Trial of TC-210 T Cells in Patients With Advanced Mesothelin-Expressing Cancer – NCT03907852
CARPALL: Immunotherapy With CD19 CAR T-cells for CD19+ Haematological Malignancies – NCT02443831
Umbilical & Cord Blood (CB) Derived CAR-Engineered NK Cells for B Lymphoid Malignancies – NCT03056339

[1] Petti F. Broadening the Applicability of CAR-T Immunotherapy to Treat the Untreatable. Onco’Zine. October 24, 2019 [Article]
[2] Wells J, Cai T, Schiffer-Manniou C, Filipe S, Gouble A, Galetto R, Jain N, Jabbour EJ, Smith J, Konopleva M. Pre-Clinical Activity of Allogeneic Anti-CD22 CAR-T Cells for the Treatment of B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Blood (2017) 130 (Supplement 1): 808.
[3] Chang C, Van Der Stegen S, Mili M, Clarke R, Lai YS, Witty A, Lindenbergh P, Yang BH, et al. FT819: Translation of Off-the-Shelf TCR-Less Trac-1XX CAR-T Cells in Support of First-of-Kind Phase I Clinical Trial. Blood (2019) 134 (Supplement_1): 4434.
[4] Liu E, Marin D, Banerjee P, Macapinlac HA, Thompson P, Basar R, Nassif Kerbauy L, Overman B, Thall P, Kaplan M, Nandivada V, Kaur I, Nunez Cortes A, Cao K, Daher M, Hosing C, Cohen EN, Kebriaei P, Mehta R, Neelapu S, Nieto Y, Wang M, Wierda W, Keating M, Champlin R, Shpall EJ, Rezvani K. Use of CAR-Transduced Natural Killer Cells in CD19-Positive Lymphoid Tumors. N Engl J Med. 2020 Feb 6;382(6):545-553. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1910607. PMID: 32023374; PMCID: PMC7101242.

Featured image: T-cells attacking a cancer cell. Photo courtesy: © Fotolia/Adobe 2016 – 2020. Used with permission.

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