Cell Medica gets Orphan Designation for novel cellular therapy

Cell Medica, a leading cellular immunotherapy company in the emerging UK cell therapy industry, announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan Drug Designation to the company’s cancer immunotherapy treatment, referred to as CMD-003, under development for Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) positive non-Hodgkin lymphomas.

CMD-003 is a novel way to target a range of cancers associated with the oncogenic Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV). The treatment has been developed by Cell Medica in collaboration with the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy (CAGT) at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital and Houston Methodist Hospital. CMD-003 is produced from patient immune cells taken from a blood sample and sent to the Company’s manufacturing site for activation and expansion through a proprietary procedure developed for commercial-scale use. CAGT (Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital and Houston Methodist Hospital) has treated more than 250 patients with research prototypes of CMD-003 and has reported promising clinical results across a range of malignancies.  

The CITADEL Trial will include NK/T cell lymphoma patients who have failed conventional treatment of advanced extranodal NK/T cell lymphoma. The trial will include patients recruited at 24 centers in five countries as part of clinical development programme aimed at regulatory approval in the USA, Europe and South Korea.

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Dr Jacobsen, clinical director of the adult lymphoma program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, said: “Extranodal NK/T cell lymphoma can be a difficult disease to treat. Until recently there has been limited research devoted to this relatively rare disease.  We are very excited to have treated the first patient in the CITADEL trial. Cytotoxic T cells are an exciting therapeutic area in oncology and I am hopeful that this approach will offer an effective new treatment option for these patients.”

This designation “Orphan Drug includes seven years of market exclusivity after marketing approval! Great news for the British company which is, of course, present in our LabiotechMap

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