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Clinical report: Academic trials signal autoimmune opportunities for T cell engagers

ARTICLE | Product Development

Plus: Results from Lilly’s Verzenio, antibody-drug conjugate Enhertu, and programs from Newron and Annovis

By Lauren Martz, Executive Director of Biopharma Intelligence, and Paul Bonanos, Director of Biopharma Intelligence

April 30, 2024 10:04 PM UTC

Clinical data from a pair of academic studies strengthen the case for CD19-targeting bispecific T cell engagers as autoimmune disease therapies. The collective evidence could shake up the rapidly evolving landscape of T cell-centered therapies in the new application.

One of the studies was led by Georg Schett, the same investigator who put CAR T cells on the map for systemic lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune diseases. In the new study, published last week in Nature Medicine, Schett and colleagues at Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen found that a low dose of Blincyto blinatumomab from Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) led to a B cell reset in patients with multidrug resistant rheumatoid arthritis. The six patients in the study underwent a “rapid decline” in clinical disease, improvement in synovitis and reduction in autoantibodies. The team also showed that memory B cells were depleted and replaced with naive cells, indicative of the kind of B cell reset that’s been proven to send certain autoimmune diseases into long-term remission…