publication date: Oct. 20, 2017

FDA approves Kite’s CAR-T cell therapy; another win for NCI’s intramural program

By Matthew Bin Han Ong

FDA has approved Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel), a genetically modified cell therapy, to treat adult patients with certain types of large B cell lymphoma who have not responded to or have relapsed after at least two other kinds of treatment.

Yescarta, approved Oct. 18, is the second chimeric antigen receptor T cell, or CAR-T, therapy to enter the market. It is also the first gene therapy for certain types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Yescarta is sponsored by Kite Pharma, which was acquired for $12 billion by Gilead Sciences earlier this year. The treatment is priced at $373,000 per infusion.

This is arguably one of the most significant interventions to come out of the NCI intramural research program. Another field-changing contribution is the HPV vaccine, which was developed by NCI Deputy Director Douglas Lowy and John Schiller, deputy chief of the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology and head of the Neoplastic Disease Section at the NCI Center for Cancer Research. Lowy and Schiller received the 2017 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award (The Cancer Letter, Sept. 8, Sept. 29).

“I would think this is a tribute to the intramural program, because we took on this method … Continue reading FDA approves Kite’s CAR-T cell therapy; another win for NCI’s intramural program

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