Cell therapy weekly: Kymriah could be available in Japan and stem cells show benefits against multiple sclerosis
This week: Stem cells superior to drugs against multiple sclerosis, Cynata completes Cymerus™ patent application and extracellular vesicles could work 'off the shelf'.
The news highlights:
Novartis files for Japanese approval of Kymriah
New therapy relies on applied extracellular vesicles rather than implanted cells
Patent filed on therapeutic use of MSCs for CAR-T side effects
Stem cells superior to disease-modifying drug therapies in treatment of multiple sclerosis
In the first CAR-T submission in Japan, Novartis (Switzerland) have filed tisagenlecleucel, known as Kymriah overseas, for certain types of leukemia and lymphoma. Novartis is said to be introducing a new outcome-based reimbursement model, where patients who don’t respond to the treatment within a month aren’t charged.
In research published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, biomedical engineers from Columbia University (NY, USA) have devised a new approach utilizing extracellular vesicles secreted by cardiomyocytes instead of implanting cells to regenerate damaged cardiac tissue. Cell-secreted vesicles are easy to isolate and store so could be used “off-the-shelf”. Led by Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, the researchers encapsulated vesicles in a collagen-based patch which released them slowly into a rat model of myocardial infarction.
“We were really excited to find that not only did the hearts treated with cardiomyocyte extracellular vesicles experienced much fewer arrhythmias, but they also recovered cardiac function most effectively and most completely,” commented Vunjak-Novakovic (Columbia University). “In fact, by four weeks after treatment, the hearts treated with extracellular vesicles had similar cardiac function as those that were never injured.”
Cynata Therapeutics (Melbourne, Australia) have confirmed completion of filing of a patent application to cover the therapeutic use of its Cymerus™ stem cell technology for the treatment of cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and other adverse reactions related to CAR-T therapy.
Kilian Kelly, Cynata’s Vice President, Product Development, said, “Initial preclinical data suggest our Cymerus mesenchymal stem cells may play an important role in managing the toxic side effects of CAR-T therapy, which, in turn, could substantially increase its utility and improve patient outcomes. We are thrilled to expand the therapeutic application of Cymerus into this innovative and exciting area of oncology and are continuing to evaluate the benefits of our MSCs in association with CAR-T treatment in ongoing preclinical studies.”
In research presented at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, autologous nonmyeloablative hematopoietic stem cell transplant was shown to be significantly better at reducing the risk for disability in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients compared to disease-modifying drug (DMD) therapies. The MIST clinical trial is utilizing healthy bone marrow stem cells from a patient and requires a much less aggressive combination of chemotherapy.
Of 110 RRMS patients being treated with DMDs, who relapsed at least twice in the year preceding the trial, one cohort of 55 patients received chemotherapy, immune suppression and a stem cell transplant, and a control cohort of 55 continued their treatment as previously prescribed. In the patients receiving the stem cell transplant, the mean Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) had improved from 3.5 to 2.4 one year after the transplant. In the control arm, EDSS worsened from 3.3 to 3.9.
For more weekly cell therapy news, read previous editions of the cell therapy weekly.