JNJ-68284528 is in clinical development for the treatment of relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma (MM). MM is a rare, incurable cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow. Abnormal plasma cells interfere with the production of red and white blood cells as well as platelets, causing symptoms such as bone pain and fragility, weakness, unusual bleeding (from the gums and nose, as well as heavy periods) and eventually kidney damage. In the early stages, MM is symptomless, then, as disease progresses, patients experience periods of time without symptoms followed by periods where the symptoms return (relapsed MM). Eventually the periods without symptoms will shorten and the illness will become immune to the treatment (refractory MM). As most patients experience serial relapse to existing treatments, there is a need for new treatment options.
JNJ-68284528 is a type of gene therapy that targets a protein called BCMA (B cell maturation antigen) which is expressed on B-cells (a type of immune cell). Binding of JNJ-68284528 to BCMA prevents B-cell maturation and differentiation into plasma cells. JNJ-68284528 is administered as an intravenous infusion. Early stage clinical trials (phase II) have demonstrated both safety and efficacy of JNJ-68284528 in patients with relapsed/refractory MM and could therefore provide an additional treatment option for patients with the disease.