Data presented today from TRANSCEND CLL-004 include 16 patients from the ongoing phase 1 monotherapy dose-escalation part of the study. The median number of lines of prior therapy was 4.5, and 75% of patients had high-risk cytogenetic features. All patients had previously received treatment with ibrutinib, 81% had relapse/refractory disease on ibrutinib and 50% received prior treatment with ibrutinib and venetoclax. Following lymphodepletion with fludarabine (30 mg/m2) and cyclophosphamide (300 mg/m2) for three days, patients received liso-cel at dose level 1 (5×107 CAR+ T cells) or dose level 2 (1×108 CAR+ T cells).
The overall response rate (ORR), which was an exploratory objective, was 81%, with 43% of patients demonstrating a complete response (CR). As of September 2018, five patients have six-month follow-up and all have maintained a response and undetectable minimal residual disease (uMRD) in the blood as measured by flow cytometry (10-4). The median time-to-peak expansion was 16 days, and CAR+ T cells remained detectable in patients at three months.
“Ibrutinib is a standard of care for patients with CLL, but outcomes are poor for patients whose disease progresses on or after ibrutinib,” said Alise Reicin, M.D., President, Global Clinical Development for Celgene. “These initial findings support further research with liso-cel in CLL and reinforce Celgene’s commitment to cellular therapy across a broad spectrum of blood cancers.”
The most common treatment-emergent adverse events reported included anemia (88%), thrombocytopenia (81%), cytokine release syndrome (75%), neutropenia (63%), leukopenia (56%), hypokalemia (50%), pyrexia (38%), lymphopenia (31%), nausea (31%), diarrhea (25%), febrile neutropenia (25%), headache (25%), insomnia (25%), and tremor (25%). One patient (6.3%) experienced grade 3 cytokine release syndrome and three patients (18.8%) experienced grade 3 neurologic events. No patients experienced grade 4 cytokine release syndrome or neurologic events.
"In CLL, undetectable MRD correlates with improved outcomes for patients and is particularly difficult to achieve in patients who have progressed on ibrutinib,” said lead study investigator Tanya Siddiqi, M.D., City of Hope National Medical Center. “The high response rates we observed in heavily pretreated patients in this initial data set, along with undetectable MRD status, that appears to be maintained over time, warrants further investigation of liso-cel in this area of high unmet need.”
Liso-cel is not approved in any country.
Liso-cel is an investigational defined composition CD19-directed CAR T cell product candidate using a 4-1BB costimulatory domain. Celgene’s lead CAR T trial, TRANSCEND NHL-001, is studying liso-cel in adult patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B cell lymphoma, primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma Grade 3B, and mantle cell lymphoma.
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