Celgene Corp., a New Jersey company soon to be acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., said that its chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy dubbed Liso-cel reduced cancer in 82% of patients with leukemia or lymphoma, and almost half of the patients achieved complete remission.
In the results from the phase 1/2 study announced at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the company revealed that 18 out of 22 patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia or small lymphocytic lymphoma showed a response to the experimental treatment, while 46% of them showed no signs of cancer, according to their blood count recovery.
"For patients who have failed the current standard of care treatments, such as ibrutinib and venetoclax, there is a need for additional treatment options," lead study investigator Tanya Siddiqi of City of Hope National Medical Center said in a release. "In this preliminary analysis, clinical responses are rapid, deep and durable when assessed by clinical and [minimal residual disease] criteria."
Among 20 patients in the study, three-quarters showed undetectable blood cancer levels after taking Liso-cel, or lisocabtagene maraleucel. Eighty-three percent of them showed signs of anemia after treatment.
Most of the patients had features of high cancer risk, and the median number of previous therapies they had received was five, which included immunotherapies.
Celgene's cell therapy is a common selling point for Bristol-Myers' rationale for acquiring the company, as Celgene's best-selling cancer drug Revlimid is susceptible to competition in the next few years.
The 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting is expected to bring together more than 32,000 professionals from around the world, with more than 2,400 study abstracts to be presented on site and an additional 3,200 abstracts to be published online.