Servier, together with Pfizer and Cellectis announced that the FDA has granted Servier with an Investigational New Drug (IND) clearance to proceed in the U.S. with the clinical development of UCART19, an allogeneic, gene-edited cellular therapy candidate to treat relapsed/refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Servier is sponsoring the CALM phase I study on UCART19. In 2015, Servier acquired exclusive rights from Cellectis for UCART19, which is being co-developed by Servier and Pfizer.
The CALM study was initiated in the U.K. in August 2016. CALM is an open label, dose-escalation study designed to evaluate safety, tolerability and antileukemic activity of UCART19 in patients with relapsed or refractory CD19-positive B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL).
The allogeneic UCART19 candidate and CALM protocol were reviewed at the National Institutes of Health's Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC) meeting on December 14, 2016. Servier submitted an IND application on February 1, 2017, with Pfizer’s support. With this IND clearance, the CALM study will be expanded to include several centers in the U.S., including the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston (Texas).
“We are very pleased that Servier’s first IND approval has been granted for such an innovative approach as allogeneic CAR T therapy,” said Dr. Patrick Thérasse, director of Clinical Development Oncology at Servier. “B-ALL is a devastating disease and this study is key to gaining greater insight into the efficacy and safety profile of this new immune-oncology approach in patients with B-ALL.”
“Pfizer is excited by the potential of this investigational CAR T approach to treating ALL and other B-Cell malignancies,” said Barbara Sasu, vice president, CAR T Research at Pfizer. “We are looking forward to having the opportunity to investigate this approach in the U.S.”