By now many of you have seen the news in much of the mainstream about the death of two patients from cerebral edema in Juno’s JCAR015, a.k.a., “ROCKET” clinical trial, especially as Wednesday’s finanacial news highlighted the precipitous drop in Juno Therapeutics’ stock.
The links below are my attempt to look past the headlines for analysts’ reactions, and to gain a better understanding of why this may have happened, and what this means for the future of CAR-T. I am particularly interested, as the CAR-T trial I underwent last year was in fact one of Juno’s. (It may have been JCAR014, but I would need to look it up.)
An analyst’s commentary, followed by some interesting reader comments…
More Juno CAR-T Deaths | In the Pipeline
Another analyst’s commentary…
Two more patients die as Juno’s lead CAR-T turns lethal again; trial halted – ENDPOINTS NEWS
Matthew Herper has been covering this territory for Forbes for awhile now…
Five Lessons From Today’s Pharma Failures
An overview of Juno’s And Kite Pharma’s various CAR-T trials…
TwitLonger — When you talk too much for Twitter
Comparisons of Juno’s JCAR015 vs. JCAR017 vs. Kite KTE-C19 vs. Novartis CTL019:
EP Vantage – Why this could be strike three for Juno’s lead
“…Kite believes its interim data of the Phase II trial released in September will be strong enough to lead regulators at the FDA to ultimately give its approval – making KTE-C19 the first CAR-T therapy to reach the market ahead of rivals Juno and Novartis (NVS). Kite said it plans to seek regulatory approval of KTE-C19 in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), transformed follicular lymphoma (TFL) and primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL), based upon the combined data of multiple trial cohorts. Kite anticipates commercial launch of KTE-C19 in 2017…”
“…Kite is currently in pole-position among the competitors, and plans to file its KITE-C19 in 2017. However despite its encouraging data, it also causes severe side-effects, and has seen patients deaths in trials linked to the treatment.
“In CAR-T, T cells are genetically engineered to attack the B cells that become malignant in some blood cancer types, and it is this unleashing of the immune system which can cause major problems, and is still poorly understood.
“Following the success of immunotherapies such as the PD-1 checkpoint inhibitors, CAR-Ts are seen as the next big thing – but the latest news is just another reminder that these drugs carry much higher risks than drugs such as Merck’s Keytruda and BMS’ Opdivo…”
- Patient deaths halt study of new approach to treating cancer | Statnews
- Two More Deaths In Trial Halt Juno’s Top CAR-T Treatment Again | Xconomy