IASO Bio Announces U.S. FDA Approval of Investigational New Drug Application for BCMA CAR-T Equecabtagene Autoleucel for Generalized Myasthenia Gravis

04 Apr 2024
Cell TherapyImmunotherapyDrug ApprovalClinical ResultClinical Study
SHANGHAI, NANJING, China and SAN JOSE, Calif., April 4, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- IASO Biotechnology ("IASO Bio"), a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering, developing, manufacturing and commercialising innovative cell therapy and antibody products, is pleased to announce that the Investigational New Drug (IND) application for its BCMA CAR-T (Equecabtagene Autoleucel) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in U.S. clinical trials for generalised myasthenia gravis (gMG). The Chinese IND for this indication of Equecabtagene Autoleucel was approved by the NMPA in January this year.
Two subjects with refractory MG were enrolled in an investigator-initiated open-label study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Eque-cel for the treatment of relapsed/refractory antibody-mediated idiopathic inflammatory disorders of the nervous system (NCT04561557 One was a 33-year-old female, AChR-IgG and Titin-IgG positive, who had been treated with thymectomy 21 months prior to enrollment and had not achieved clinical remission after treatment with cholinesterase inhibitorscholinesterase inhibitors, glucocorticoids, immunosuppressants, and anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody. The other subject was a 60-year-old female, MuSK-IgG4 positive, with a 20-year history of the disease and failed the previous treatment with hormones, immunosuppressants, and anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody. The 2 subjects were treated with a single infusion of Eque-cel at the doses of 1.0×106 CAR-T/Kg, respectively.
Safety: Of the 2 subjects, only 1 subject developed grade 1 Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS), and no Immune effector Cell-Associated Neurotoxicity Syndrome (ICANS). All grade ≥3 hemocytopenia recovered within 4 weeks post infusion. No new safety risk was identified, and the safety profile was superior compared to that in multiple myeloma indication.
: Clinical symptoms continued to improve over 18 months in the 2 subjects. From 3 months after the infusion, patients showed significant improvement in limb strength and vital capacity, and sustained improvement in Myasthenia Gravis-Activities of Daily Living Score (MG-ADL), Quantitative Myasthenia Gravis Score (QMG), Myasthenia Gravis-Quality of Life Score (MG-QOL), and Modified Rankin Score (mRS). No immunomodulatory therapy other than low dose pyridostigmine (90 mg/day and 60 mg/day, respectively) was used during the follow-up period.
PK/PD: Eque-cel expanded well after infusion. Anti-AChR antibodies, anti-Titin antibodies, and anti-MuSK antibodies decreased rapidly and maintained at very low levels in both subjects after infusion. B cells and plasma cells decreased to undetectable levels in both subjects within 2 months after infusion and then recovered gradually. At 18 months post-infusion, the B cells of both subjects had returned to normal levels, with approximately 80% of them being naïve B cells, while plasma cells remained at low levels. This result suggests that the long-term efficacy of CAR-T cell therapy may be related to the reconstitution of B cells with a predominantly naïve phenotype and the continued clearance of plasma cells.
About MG
Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoantibody-mediated neuromuscular junction disorder. The main clinical manifestation of MG is a decrease in muscle strength in local or systemic muscles, which can affect eye, respiratory and limb muscles and other important muscle groups, which has a huge negative impact on the patient's quality of life, and dysphagia or breathing difficulty caused by a myasthenic crisis can be life-threatening. The main pathogenic antibodies in MG include AChR, MuSK and LRP4 antibodies. A very small number of patients have no detectable antibodies in their serum1. MG can occur at any age and is slightly more common in women than in men 2. According to relevant studies, the incidence rate of MG in the United States is 3.1/100,000 people and the prevalence rate is 37.0/100,000 people3. It is estimated that the number of people with MG incidence in the United States in 2023 was more than 10,000, and the number of patients with MG was about 124,000.
Ms. Jinhua Zhang, Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of IASO Bio, stated, "We are very pleased that Equecabtagene Autoleucel has been approved for clinical trial   for myasthenia gravis in the United States. This is the result of the unremitting efforts of our team and is an important milestone in our efforts to improve the quality of life of patients with autoimmune diseases around the world. We will actively obtain more data on the safety and efficacy of Equecabtagene Autoleucel in the treatment of MG patients, and better explore and define the significance of this innovative cell therapy in the treatment of immune diseases. We hope Equecabtagene Autoleucel will provide a more efficient and long-lasting therapeutic option for myasthenia gravis and potentially other autoimmune diseases."
About IASO Bio
IASO Bio is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of novel cell therapies and biologics for oncology and autoimmune diseases. IASO Bio possesses comprehensive capabilities spanning the entire drug development process, from early discovery to clinical development, regulatory approval, and commercial production.
The pipeline in the company includes a diversified portfolio of over 10 novel products, including Equecabtagene Autoleucel (a fully human BCMA CAR-T injection). Equecabtagene Autoleucel received New Drug Application (NDA) approval from China's National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) and U.S. FDA IND approval for the treatment of R/RMM.
Leveraging its strong management team, innovative product pipeline, GMP production, as well as integrated manufactural and clinical capabilities, IASO aims to deliver transformative, curable, and affordable therapies that fulfil unmet medical needs to patients in China as well as around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.iasobio.com or www.linkedin.com/company/iasobiotherapeutics.
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