Historic moment for Chinese CAR-T biotech

by Alexey Bersenev on June 6, 2017 · 0 comments

in Uncategorized

The biggest and the most prestigious conference in clinical oncology (ASCO) could be a turning point for Chinese CAR-T biotech. Yesterday, presentation of preliminary data from CAR-T trial in multiple myeloma by China’s company Nanjing Legend Biotech (Legend), was a bomb! Repercussions of this success could be historic for perception of Chinese CAR-T biotech by “Western world”.

First of all, ASCO committee recognized the importance of Legend’s data and accepted their late-breaking abstract. Right after presentation, ASCO issued an immediate press release. A buzz was rapidly escalated by big media outlets (Reuters, NBC, CBS and others) as well as by coverage of specialized biothech/ medical news journalists (see: EP Vantage, Endpoints, FierceBiotech and STAT).

The data are spectacular – 100% response rate with 74% CR at 4 months (n=19). Much anticipated data release from very similar trial, run by US-based bluebird bio, was overshadowed by Chinese Nanjing Legend, presented in the same day.

Why is it a big deal for Chinese CAR-T biotech? Well, I don’t remember so much attention from “western word” to any CAR-T data (and even for any cell therapy data), coming from China, before. China has a lot of CAR-T trials going on and it has published their results (see here, here and here) and presented on prestigious conference (for example, ASH 2016 – see here and here). Despite quite good (comparable to “western world”) results, it had never got covered by western media and biotech analysts. The common perception of data from China among “westerners” was something like “it is unreliable” and “untrusted”. Would Legend’s ASCO success be a game changer for Chinese CAR-T biotech? I hope so. Well, at least now we got to know what city of Nanjing is.

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