Novartis: Latest Lymphoma study shows CART on track for 2017 U.S. Submission


Swiss drug maker, Novartis said that findings from a study of the latest therapy regimen for two kinds of leukemia were in league with earlier results. It is seen as a fillip for Novartis which is seeking a 2017 US regulatory submission.

Novartis is in the process of testing its Chimeric AntigenReceptor T cell Therapy (CART) on 15 subjects with the common non-Hodgkins lymphoma also known as B-cell lymphoma and 11 follicular lymphoma patients.

Chimeric antigen receptor T cells are specially engineered T cell receptors that have an action on a specific immune effector cell. They are being investigated for their use in treating cancers.

The subjects T-Cells are removed and engineered in a way to express receptors for a particular form of cancer. The Engineered T Cells with the power to recognize and kill cancer cells are reintroduced into the subject’s body.

The latest study is the Phase II study of subjects who have an advanced stage of cancer and have not responded to conventional treatment.

The study revealed that 47% of B-cell lymphoma subjects and 73% of the follicular lymphoma patients saw a reduction in cancer. These figures were released by Novartis at the American Society of Hematology conference in Orlando.

Usman Azam, Novartis’ global head of cell & gene therapies said that findings from earlier studies with half the number of patients were identical.

Novartis is upbeat and said that the trials are on track for 2017 when the drug comes for review before the-the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Novartis said that it will continue to seek new ways to treat B-cell lymphoma that affects 25,000 new U.S. subjects each year and kills 10,000 persons every year.