Multiple myeloma (MM) is a rare, incurable cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is the spongy tissue found at the centre of some bones, which produces blood cells for the body. Plasma cells are normally produced in a controlled way but in cases of MM, large amounts of abnormal plasma cells are produced. These fill the bone marrow and interfere with the production of other cells, including red and white blood cells and platelets. The cause of MM is unknown. Symptoms of MM varies but some may include bone pain, fractures, body weakness, malaise, bleeding, anaemia and infections. People with MM will experience periods of time without symptoms followed by periods when the illness comes back (‘relapsed’ MM). Eventually the periods without symptoms will shorten and the illness will become immune to the drugs given to treat it (‘refractory’ MM).
bb2121 is in development as a treatment option for relapsed and refractory MM. It is based on genetic therapies and targets the growth of specific proteins present in most MM cells. bb2121 is administered by injection and the unique way it acts may offer an additional treatment option for relapsed and refractory MM patients who have tried and failed to respond on current therapies.
Lisocabtagene maraleucel (Liso-Cel) is a therapy that uses the patient’s own cells to fight the cancer. Healthy white blood cells are taken from the patient’s blood and re-programmed to fight the cancer cells in DLBCL. When these cells are returned to the body, the programmed cells act by tracking down and destroy the cancer cells. If licensed, this therapy would provide a new kind of treatment for patients whose DLBCL has come back after previous successful treatment (relapsed) or where the disease has not responded to previous treatment (refractory). This therapy also has the potential to improve patient treatment by being available in an outpatient setting when compared to similar treatments that have to be administered in a hospital/specialist setting.