- A baby diagnosed with advanced leukemia four weeks after birth is in remission after receiving treatment with Cellectis’ CAR-T treatment, Reuters reports.
- Last year, another baby was successfully treated with the therapy, known as UCART19, and remains cancer free nearly a year following her diagnosis with fatal, refractory leukemia.
- Both infants were treated at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital under compassionate use protocol.
Cellectis is one of the companies leading the way in developing T-cell therapies for the treatment of previously hard-to-treat cancers. Novartis, Juno Therapeutics, and Kite Pharma are also in development with their own therapies.
Unlike those three other companies, however, Cellectis uses T-cells from a health donor and combines them with new genes before infusing them into a patient. The engineered T-cells are better able to target and destroy cancer cells.
The other companies rely on an autologous approach, which involves using T-cells from each individual patient. Cellectis’ method promises a potentially less expensive, “off-the-shelf” therapy.
Cellectis’ treatment has generated a lot of press for its recent successes but clinical trials aren’t due to start until later this year. So far it has only been used on a compassionate use basis.
The news was presented at the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy annual meeting in Washington, DC. Cellectis is working with Pfizer and Servier to conduct trials and move the UCART19 therapy through the development process.