Last month found the media spotlight focused mostly on CAR-T. Reactions to the headline-grabbing approval of Kymriah, the first CAR-T therapy, were still rolling in when the FDA announced it was greenlighting a second—Gilead’s Yescarta. Here are a few of our favorite clicks—CAR-T and otherwise—from October.
Philadelphia Magazine named CAR-T pioneer and “well-trained maverick” Carl June to its annual “The 100 Most Influential People in Philadelphia” list, suggesting he may well be “the most important doctor in the world.” Read more to find out why June thinks Kymriah has a lot in common with the first computers.
In the Huffington Post, Mikkael Sekeres, director of the Leukemia Center at the Cleveland Clinic, and Alison Wakoff Loren, associate professor of medicine at University of Pennsylvania, highlighted the “almost impossible dilemma” of tempering patient expectation in light of the recent approval of promising new therapeutic approaches like CAR-T and monoclonal antibodies.
Europe is clearing a regulatory path for cell and gene therapies according to a new report in Science|Business. In response to complaints from companies developing advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) based on cells, genes and tissues, the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have launched a joint plan to streamline procedures, with the aim of speeding approvals and expanding patient access.
Stat Plus traced the journey of one CAR-T treatment from patient to manufacturing facility and back. The story, epically titled “The fantastic voyage of a bag of cells shipped west to be trained in the art of cancer killing,” follows the cells of one lymphoma patient through a month-long transformation process that covers more than 6,000 miles and involves the combined efforts of more than 150 doctors, nurses, scientists, and couriers.
Know a non-scientist interested in learning the basics of CAR-T? Have them check out this amazing infographic from French artist/structural biochemist Etienne Raimondeau— ‘What are CAR-T therapies?’. Raimondeau, a Ph.D. student at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, has a passion for communicating science through illustrations. Nice work Etienne!