A molecular view of the CAR-T therapy at work.
The early data results seemed almost too good to be true.
That's what Sen Zhuang, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President, Oncology Clinical Research, Janssen Research & Development, was thinking at a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in the summer of 2018.
An emerging Chinese biotech company called Legend Biotech was presenting the initial results of their investigational chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy (CAR-T), a type of treatment that harnesses a patient's own white blood cells to target and kill a specific form of cancer, multiple myeloma—a disease that Johnson & Johnson is focused on defeating.
Dr. Sen Zhuang, Vice President, Oncology Clinical Research
Fifteen years ago, doctors had few options beyond chemotherapy and radiation to manage the disease, and patients typically only lived for two or three years following diagnosis. But thanks to new treatment options, life expectancy has risen: Over 50 percent of people diagnosed with multiple myeloma today may live an average of over seven years.
Janssen has been a leader in advancing the field of multiple myeloma research. Now it has teamed up with Legend Biotech, through a worldwide collaboration and license agreement, to jointly develop and commercialize a CAR-T therapy based on Legend Biotech's novel cell therapy. "The partnership is a significant step forward in potentially bringing [a new treatment] to patients worldwide," says Yuan Xu, CEO, Legend Biotech.