Orphan Drug Status Goes to Engineered T-Cell Product

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has awarded Orphan Drug Status to Kite Pharma for the company's engineered T-cell product.

Kite Pharma's engineered T-cell product is designed to treat difficult-to-treat cases of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. This is an autologous T-cell, meaning it is contributed by the patient and then engineered in a laboratory before being returned to the patient.

Company aims for 'Holy Grail' of cancer treatment

In this case, Kite Pharma's engineering teaches the T-cells to target CD19 protein expression on the surface of B-cell lymphocytes and to kill them, effectively enlisting the body's own immune system to fight cancer – a goal considered by many to be the Holy Grail of cancer treatment.

Kite Pharma was launched five years ago, in 2009. They have been part of a cooperative research and development agreement with the National Cancer Institute's surgery branch to develop this Chimeric Antigen Receptor CD19 technology.

A pair of studies presented at the ASH conference in December showed the potential efficacy of the treatment in a handful of DLBCL patients.

Source: Healio

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