Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy remains limited to select centers that can carefully monitor adverse events. To broaden use of CAR T cells in community clinics and in a frontline setting, we developed a novel CD8+ CAR T-cell product, Descartes-08, with predictable pharmacokinetics for treatment of multiple myeloma. Descartes-08 is engineered by mRNA transfection to express anti-BCMA CAR for a defined length of time. Descartes-08 expresses anti-BCMA CAR for 1 week, limiting risk of uncontrolled proliferation; produce inflammatory cytokines in response to myeloma target cells; and are highly cytolytic against myeloma cells regardless of the presence of myeloma-protecting bone marrow stromal cells, exogenous a proliferation-inducing ligand, or drug resistance including IMiDs. The magnitude of cytolysis correlates with anti-BCMA CAR expression duration, indicating a temporal limit in activity. In the mouse model of aggressive disseminated human myeloma, Descartes-08 induces BCMA CAR-specific myeloma growth inhibition and significantly prolongs host survival (p < 0.0001). These preclinical data, coupled with an ongoing clinical trial of Descartes-08 in relapsed/refractory myeloma (NCT03448978) showing preliminary durable responses and a favorable therapeutic index, have provided the framework for a recently initiated trial of an optimized/humanized version of Descartes-08 (i.e., Descartes-11) in newly diagnosed myeloma patients with residual disease after induction therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research