2022-08-10| Trials & Approvals

Multiple Myeloma Treatment From BMS Proves Superior Life Expectancy After Further Trial

by Max Heirich
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On August 10, Bristol Myers Squibb and 2seventy bio announced topline results from a Phase III clinical trial evaluating ABECMA (idecabtagene vicleucel). ABECMA is a gene-based cell therapy treating patients with multiple myeloma. The clinical trial showed that adult patients affected by the disease significantly improved progression-free survival.

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Multiple Myeloma and its Treatments

Multiple myeloma is cancer formed in white blood cells known as plasma. When plasma cells function healthily, they assist in the immune system. Namely, they form antibodies to fight germs. However, multiple myeloma accumulates affected cells in a person’s bone marrow. This results in these cells crowding out healthy cells. In addition, multiple myeloma produces proteins that can lead to complications rather than antibodies.

This uncommon blood cancer has a median life expectancy of 62 months for Stage I, 44 months for Stage II, and 29 months for Stage III.

There are multiple treatment options for patients with multiple myeloma. One such drug is NINLARO (Ixazomib), designed by Takeda Pharmaceuticals. NINLARO targets the part of multiple myeloma that produces proteins and prevents them from doing so. 

ABECMA, developed by Bristol Myers Squibb and 2seventy bio, treats multiple myeloma, but in a different way. ABECMA uses the patient’s own T-cells to bind to a protein known as BMCA. This protein resides on nearly every multiple myeloma cell. After binding, the drug induces cell death. 

ABECMA obtained FDA approval on March 21, 2021. However, Phase III clinical trials are ongoing, intending to compare ABECMA to standard treatment regimes. 

The KarMMa-3 Trial Meets its Primary Endpoint

The KarMMa-3 Phase III trial is a global, randomized evaluation of ABECMA compared to other treatments. The study met its primary endpoint of demonstrating that multiple myeloma patients treated with ABECMA had a greater progression-free survival rate than other treatments. 

Steve Bernstein, M.D., chief medical officer, 2seventy bio, said, “We are extremely pleased to have met the KarMMa-3 primary endpoint at an interim analysis. These results help to advance our efforts to make Abecma available for earlier lines of treatment for patients, and we look forward to discussing these results with regulatory authorities.”

These results further accentuate the use of drugs that harness a patient’s T-Cells in multiple myeloma treatments. Carvykti (ciltacabtagene autoleucel), a T-Cell therapy for multiple myeloma, displayed similar effects and attained approval by the FDA early this year.

In the future, Bristol Myers Squibb intends to share more data gathered from the KarMMa-3 study in the later half of the year. 

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