Anti-BCMA CAR T-cell therapy being fast tracked at FDA


The Food and Drug Administration has granted breakthrough therapy designation to bb2121, a chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T) therapy that targets b-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma.

The therapy, being developed jointly by Celgene and bluebird bio, will be given expedited review by the FDA under the program. Meanwhile, European drug officials have granted it Priority Medicines eligibility, which also provides accelerated review.

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The decision to fast track the review of bb2121 is based on preliminary data from the ongoing phase I CRB-401 trial. As of May 2017, there was 1-month clinical response data from 18 patients with multiple myeloma who were infused with bb2121. The overall response rate was 89%, but was 100% for patients who had been treated with doses of 150 × 106 CAR+ T cells or higher, according to an abstract from the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology. Five months of follow-up data on these patients, plus initial data on additional patients, will be presented at ASH 2017 on Dec. 11.

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