Genetically Modified KITE-585 Therapy Increases Survival in Mice with Myeloma, Study Shows

Genetically Modified KITE-585 Therapy Increases Survival in Mice with Myeloma, Study Shows

Kite Pharma’s genetically modified T-cell therapy KITE-585 has delayed tumor progression and increased survival in mice with multiple myeloma, according to a preclinical-trial study.

The company presented the findings in a verbal presentation and poster session at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 2017 Annual Meeting in Washington April 1-5.

KITE-585 is a CAR T-cell therapy, or one that involves genetically modifying T-cells in a lab to better recognize cancer cells. Scientists engineer T-cells from a patient’s own blood so they will express a chimeric antigen receptor, or CAR, that is specific to a certain cancer protein. Then they return the cells to the patient’s body.

Scientists designed KITE-585 to recognize cancer cells expressing the B-cell maturation antigen protein. Myeloma cells express the protein, also known as BCMA, on their surface.

Gregor Adams noted in the Washington conference’s oral presentation that KITE-585 killed more than 95 percent of multiple myeloma cells grown in a lab. A single intravenous injection of anti-BCMA CAR T-cells delayed tumor progression and increased survival in mice with myeloma, compared with controls, he added. His presentation was titled “Development of KITE-585: A fully human anti-BCMA CAR T-cell therapy for the treatment of multiple myeloma.”

The poster session dealt with KITE-585’s ability to target cancer cells that express BCMA without affecting normal cells. Kite assessed this with Retrogenix cell microarray technology, which covers all targets that CAR T-cells recognize. The poster session was titled “Selectivity and specificity of engineered T cells expressing KITE-585, a chimeric antigen receptor targeting B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA).”

Kite said the results support its plans for Phase 1 clinical trials of KITE-585 as a multiple myeloma treatment.

“These promising preclinical data presented at AACR suggest the potential of KITE-585 to offer a one-time treatment to address the high unmet need in multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer,” David Chang, MD, PhD, Kite’s chief medical officer, said in a press release. “The roadmap developed for the clinical development and manufacturing expertise of axicabtagene ciloleucel will be invaluable as we accelerate KITE-585 into the clinic [clinical trial phase] later this year.”

Kite expects to file an investigational new drug (IND) application for KITE-585 this year. U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval would allow the company to move the therapy into clinical trials.

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Inês Martins holds a BSc in Cell and Molecular Biology from Universidade Nova de Lisboa and is currently finishing her PhD in Biomedical Sciences at Universidade de Lisboa. Her work has been focused on blood vessels and their role in both hematopoiesis and cancer development.

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