No­var­tis isn’t mess­ing around with CAR-T, and it has a promis­ing next-gen ther­a­py to help prove it

The cen­ter ring at AS­CO this week­end will fea­ture CTL019, No­var­tis’ lead CAR-T that ap­pears to be head­ed to a land­mark ap­proval in a mat­ter of months. But the phar­ma gi­ant will al­so be putting the spot­light on a next-gen CAR-T ther­a­py — CTL119 — with a com­pelling glimpse at its promise of im­prov­ing reengi­neered cells’ per­sis­tence, amp­ing up their ther­a­peu­tic po­ten­tial.

This new mod­el CAR is made with a hu­man­ized CAR pro­tein with, pre­sum­ably, greater affin­i­ty to hu­man pro­teins than the mouse pro­teins used in the first wave of CARs built at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia.

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