Samarth Kulkarni, CRISPR CEO

CRISPR Ther­a­peu­tics claims safe­ty ad­van­tage in first big look at off-the-shelf CAR-T da­ta, but dura­bil­i­ty in ques­tion

CRISPR Ther­a­peu­tics CEO Samarth Kulka­rni thinks his com­pa­ny might have built the safest CAR-T ther­a­py yet.

The gene edit­ing biotech an­nounced the first ma­jor batch of da­ta from its off-the-shelf CAR-T pro­gram, show­ing that 58% of the 26 large B-cell lym­phoma pa­tients who re­ceived the ther­a­py saw their tu­mors shrink and that 38% had no signs of can­cer what­so­ev­er.

Those re­sponse rates, out­side ex­perts say, are broad­ly in the range seen in tri­als for au­tol­o­gous CAR-T ther­a­pies such as No­var­tis’s Kym­ri­ah and Gilead’s Yescar­ta, bol­ster­ing the chance that off-the-shelf could even­tu­al­ly make the ben­e­fits of such ther­a­pies far more wide­ly avail­able. Up­take of the first-gen­er­a­tion of CAR-Ts con­tin­ues to be lim­it­ed by the cost, time and in­fra­struc­ture re­quired to han­dle each per­son’s cells.

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