Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Juno had 34 for 34 patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) Achieve Complete Remissions? CAR-T is the real deal

Wow now that is some good news and might be a reason to be long the stock again.
In efficacy-evaluable ALL patients (N=34), complete remission was reported in 34/34 (100%) patients and complete molecular remission as measured by flow cytometry (CmR) was achieved in 32/34 (94%) patients.
ALL is a terrible form of cancer that kills in like a few months IIRC. It also seems to go after kids quite a bit so this part was real eye opener.
In addition to the adult JCAR014 data presented today, Rebecca Gardner, M.D., of Seattle Children’s, announced results from Seattle Children’s Phase I study of JCAR017 in pediatric and young adults with CD19+ r/r ALL (n=42) demonstrating 39/42 (93%) patients experienced a complete remission, all of which were a CmR by flow cytometry. In patients who received the Flu/Cy preconditioning regimen, 14/14 (100%) achieved a complete remission and a CmR.
That Flu/Cy preconditioning is a round of Chemo that kills some of the cancer cells so that the CAR-Ts can work on the rest of them.

However, this a tangible bad mark against the therapy
sCRS was observed in 10/42 (24%) patients and Grade 3 or higher neurotoxicity was observed in 10/42 (24%) patients.
That means Cytokine-release syndrome happened to 10 of the 24 patients and that stuff is no joke. That happens because the cancer cells die so rapidly they end up causing this syndrome.

In any case this could be a first line therapy for ALL and will strait-up save some kids lives. Juno is selling for $47.65 a share which is pricey for a stock in a Phase I/II study.  Also there is a big question mark if this therapy can go after solid tumors but it might be something to take a flier on with some risk-capital. It will also probably be really expensive to administer because you are essentially taking cells from the body and re-engineering them to kill the cancer. It would have been nice to catch that low in $24.50 range as well but that is pure hindsight.

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