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Novartis highlights research on investigational, personalized T cell therapy CTL019 in patients with forms of acute and chronic leukemia
Date:12/7/2013

EAST HANOVER, N.J., Dec. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Novartis is highlighting new research from members of the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine (Penn) on the investigational chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) therapy, CTL019. Several studies being presented at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting add to the scientific understanding of CTL019 in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and build on earlier research findings1,2,3,4.

"These data reflect a significant advance in our understanding of the novel, investigational CAR therapy, CTL019, which shows potential for advancing the treatment of patients with ALL and CLL," said Herve Hoppenot, President, Novartis Oncology. "We are committed, through our collaboration with Penn, to expand the clinical trials of CTL019 to include as many patients as soon as possible."

Highlights of the presentations include findings that 19 of 22 pediatric patients with ALL (86%) experienced complete remissions. The first pediatric patient treated with the protocol remains in remission 20 months later. Five pediatric patients have relapsed, including one whose tests revealed new tumor cells that do not express the CD19 protein targeted by the reprogrammed cells. Additionally, all five of the first adult ALL patients treated to date have experienced complete remissions, the longest of which continues six months after treatment. One adult patient subsequently underwent a bone marrow transplant and remains in remission. Another adult patient relapsed after three months with disease that also tested negative for the CD19 protein (abstract #67)1.

In studies of adult patients with CLL, 15 of 32 adult patients (47%) responded to the therapy, with seven of those experiencing a complete remission of their diseas
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