Industry updates with Dusko Ilic: October 2019
Read highlights from the latest installment of Dusko Ilic’s industry updates, which discuss the latest developments and news in regenerative medicine and stem cell research, and are published every month in Regenerative Medicine.
Every month, Dusko comments on news of note. Read the full update for October 2019 in Regenerative Medicine here>>
What happened this month that you were expecting?
It was only a matter of time before the Scottish Medicines Consortium (Glasgow, UK) would approve Gilead’s (CA, USA) CAR-T therapy Yescarta® (axicabtagene ciloleucel) for use in the UK's National Health Service to treat relapsed/refractory diffuse large B-cell primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma.
What happened that surprised you this month?
CRISPR/Cas technology is still very appealing to investors. ArsenalBio (CA, USA), with Jennifer Doudna (University of California Berkeley, USA) on the scientific advisory board, made its debut backed by US$85 million Series A financing to build a programmable cell therapy company to create highly effective and accessible immune cell therapies.
If we only read about one story this month, what should it be?
Rocket Pharma (NY, USA) has presented an updated long-term follow-up from the Phase 1/2 clinical trial of RP-L102 lentiviral vector-based gene therapy for the treatment of fanconi anemia, utilizing fresh or cryopreserved mobilized peripheral blood CD34+ cells that were transduced with the therapeutic vector. Four out of nine patients have been followed for more than 2 years (24–39 months) and they showed excellent progress. What else is remarkable is that in the press release, the company posted a link to a presentation at the European Society of Cell and Gene Therapy 27th Annual Congress in Barcelona (Spain) that contained all data. A bright example that should become a standard one day.
Dusko Ilic is a Senior Lecturer in stem cell science, coordinator of the cross-divisional postgraduate program in stem cells and regenerative medicine, and Head of the Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Core Facility at King's College London (London, UK). He is also Head of the Assisted Conception Unit's Human Embryonic Laboratories at Guy’s Hospital (London, UK). He is also a member of the editorial board of the journal Regenerative Medicine, where he writes the Industry Report, a regular feature compiling information from non-academic institutions in the field of stem cells and regenerative medicine