Cellectis Shares Fall as a Patient’s Death Suspends the Testing of Cell Therapy

Cellectis shares fall as a patient’s death suspends the testing of cell therapy

Cellectis- a cell therapy specialist firm located in France- which has been working on a gene modified treatment for cancer similar to the recently approved Kymirah produced by Novartis, was forced to suspend and halt its testing as a patient lost his life during the testing process. On Tuesday, the 5th of September 2017, the French cell therapy expert stated that it was operating closely and carefully with the Food and Drug Administration in the United States to resume their trials and test by opting for lower doses of the medication.

Company shares of Cellectis fell up to twenty-six percent during the morning trade as the regulator of the United States decided to place an alleged clinical halt on a couple of early state tests and trials of the drug which is supposed to be used for the treatment of blood cancer. On the other hand, Novartis created history in the previous week as it acquired approval for Kymirah- its medication priced at around US$ 475,000. It emerged as the first one in the new and innovative class of treatments known as CAR-T immunotherapies that ideally make use of modified and enhanced disease-fighting T cells for attacking cancer.

While Novartis as well as the competitor drug manufacturers such as Kite and Juno use cells from the body of their patients, Cellectic’s cell therapy product which is gene edited provides an allogeneic or “off-the-shelf” option that derives cells only from healthy blood and cell donors. Their therapy is designed and developed to help patients with (BPDCN) blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm and (AML) acute myeloid leukemia. However, a man aged 78 years old, who was also the first patient to be treated in the blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN) study, lost his life as he experienced (CRS) cytokine release syndrome- this is a perilous release of some cell-signaling proteins.

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