The latest research findings of BCMA CAR-T therapy for multiple myeloma in 2023 | Equecabtagene Autoleucel (FUCASO)

The latest research findings of BCMA CAR-T therapy for multiple myeloma in 2023 | Equecabtagene Autoleucel (FUCASO®)
    IASO Bio and Innovent presented their latest research findings on the Equecabtagene Autoleucel injection (brand name: FUCASO®) for multiple myeloma at the 2023 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting. This study was primarily based on a post-hoc analysis of the FUMANBA-1 study, an Ib/II phase research assessing the efficacy and safety of this therapy in treating patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM).
    As of December 31, 2022, with a median follow-up of 18.07 months, deep and sustained responses were observed in 103 evaluable patients. Among these patients, the overall response rate (ORR) was 96.1%, and the stringent complete response/complete response (sCR/CR) rate was 77.7%. Among subjects without prior CAR-T therapy, the ORR reached 98.9%, the sCR/CR rate reached 82.4%, and the 12-month progression-free survival (PFS) rate was 85.5%.
Minimal residual disease (MRD) negativity rate is 94.2% in the total evaluable patients, and all patients who achieved CR or above were MRD negative. The median time to achieve MRD negativity was 15 days, with 80.8% of patients remaining MRD negative at 12 months post infusion.
In addition, Equecabtagene Autoleucel could persist in the body for an extended period of time the median duration was 307.5 days. 12 months after infusion, 50% of patients had a vector copy number (VCN) above the lower limit of detection; and 24 months after infusion, VCN could still be detected in 40% of the patients.
The research findings indicate a strong correlation between sustained MRD negativity and patient progression-free survival (PFS), along with the continuous presence of Equecabtagene Autoleucel in the body, which correlates positively with sustained MRD negativity.
The Equecabtagene Autoleucel injection may improve the long-term survival prospects of RRMM patients, offering enduring deep remission and holding significant importance for the sustained maintenance of MRD negativity in patients.
About Multiple Myeloma (MM)
Multiple Myeloma is a deadly blood cancer that often infiltrates the bone marrow causing anemia, kidney failure, immune problems, and bone fractures. For multiple myeloma patients, common first-line drug treatments include proteasome inhibitors, immunomodulatory drugs, and alkylating agents. While treatment may result in remission, most patients will inevitably enter the relapsed or refractory stage as there’s currently no cure. As a result, there is a significant unmet need for patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. In the United States, MM accounts for nearly 2% of all cancer cases, and more than 2% of cancer-related deaths.
According to Frost & Sullivan, the number of new MM cases in the United States rose from 30,300 in 2016 to 32,300 in 2020 and is expected to increase to 37,800 by 2025. Additionally, the total number of patients diagnosed with MM increased from 132,200 in 2016 to 144,900 in 2020 and is expected to rise to 162,300 by 2025. In China, the number of new MM cases rose from 18,900 in 2016 to 21,100 in 2020 and is expected to increase to 24,500 by 2025. The total number of patients diagnosed with MM in China increased from 69,800 in 2016 to 113,800 in 2020 and is expected to rise to 182,200 by 2025.
About Equecabtagene Autoleucel
Equecabtagene Autoleucel is an innovative fully-human anti-BCMA CAR-T cell therapy that uses lentivirus as a gene vector to transfect autologous T cells. The CAR comprises a fully-human scFv, CD8a hinge and transmembrane, as well as 4-1BB-mediated co-stimulation and CD3ζ activation domains. Through rigorous screening and comprehensive in vivo and in vitro evaluation, Equecabtagene Autoleucel has been proven to possess potent and rapid anti-myeloma activity, along with outstanding safety, efficacy, and persistence results.
Equecabtagene Autoleucel has received acceptance for New Drug Application (NDA) from China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) for the treatment of RRMM and has obtained IND approval from the U.S. FDA. Additionally, the company was granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation (BTD) by the NMPA in February 2021, Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) in February 2022, and Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy (RMAT) and Fast Track (FT) Designations from the FDA in February 2023. Besides multiple myeloma, NMPA has accepted its IND application for the new extended indication of Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder (NMOSD). Innovent and IASO Bio are collaboratively developing Equecabtagene Autoleucel for the treatment of RRMM in mainland China.
About IASO Biotechnology
IASO Bio is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of novel cell therapies for oncology and autoimmune diseases. Leveraging its proprietary fully human antibody discovery platform (IMARS), high-throughput chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) drug screening platform, and proprietary manufacturing processes, IASO Bio is developing a robust clinical-stage pipeline of multiple autologous and allogeneic CAR-T and biologics product candidates. This pipeline comprises a diversified portfolio of over 10 novel products, including IASO’s flagship asset, Equecabtagene Autoleucel (CT103A), a fully human BCMA CAR-T injection.
In addition to Equecabtagene Autoleucel, the company’s pipeline includes the fully developed in-house human CD19/CD22 dual-targeted CAR-T cell therapy, which has received two IND clearances for treating relapsed/refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (r/r B-NHL) and relapsed/refractory acute B-lymphoblastic leukemia (r/r B-ALL). CD19/CD22 is currently in Phase I clinical trials for r/r B-NHL. It was also granted ODD by the FDA in October 2021. In the approximately 20 patients dosed to date in the investigator-initiated trial, there were no immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome (ICANS) observed in any patient, and the rate of grade 3 cytokine release syndrome (CRS) was less than 5%, with the remainder of patients experiencing no CRS or less than grade 3.
Leveraging its strong management team, innovative product pipeline, integrated manufacturing, and clinical capabilities, IASO aims to deliver transformative, curable, and affordable therapies that fulfill unmet medical needs to patients in China and around the world.

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