Historic moment in cancer treatment for Novartis

Historic moment in cancer treatment for Novartis

August 30, 2017 Off By Dino Mustafić

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Novartis’s Kymriah suspension for intravenous infusion, formerly CTL019, the first chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy, for treating certain leukemia patients. 

The targeted group are patients up to 25 years of age with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) that is refractory or in second or later relapse. Kymriah is described as a novel immunocellular therapy and a one-time treatment that uses a patient’s own T cells to fight cancer, and it is the first therapy based on gene transfer approved by the FDA.

“At Novartis, we have a long history of being at the forefront of transformative cancer treatment,” said Joseph Jimenez, CEO of Novartis. “Five years ago, we began collaborating with the University of Pennsylvania and invested in further developing and bringing what we believed would be a paradigm-changing immunocellular therapy to cancer patients in dire need. With the approval of Kymriah, we are once again delivering on our commitment to change the course of cancer care.”

Bruno Strigini, CEO of Novartis Oncology spoke of this historic moment in cancer treatment.”We are so proud to be part of this historic moment in cancer treatment and are deeply grateful to our researchers, collaborators, and the patients and families who participated in the Kymriah clinical program. As a breakthrough immunocellular therapy for children and young adults who desperately need new options, Kymriah truly embodies our mission to discover new ways to improve patient outcomes and the way cancer is treated.”