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.
Triptorelin is being developed as an injection under the skin (subcutaneous) for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic prostate cancer. It is already marketed for this condition but is given by injection deep into the muscles (intramuscular). Triptorelin is an artificial analogue of natural gonadotropin‐releasing hormone that acts to slowly reduce the level of testosterone in the body. The first administration of triptorelin stimulates an increase in testosterone levels but prolonged administration leads to a fall in plasma testosterone or oestradiol to castrate levels which is maintained for as long as the product is administered. Triptorelin as a subcutaneous injection formulation has the potential advantage of improved safety and local tolerability when compared to intramuscular injection formulation.