Tabelecleucel for Epstein-Barr Virus-associated lymphoproliferative disease following solid organ transplant

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Year: 2019

Tabelecleucel is in clinical development for people with Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)-associated post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD) following solid organ transplant, where treatment with rituximab or rituximab and chemotherapy has not been successful. The EBV virus is present in around 90% of people, but people who have had an organ transplant need to take medicine that suppresses their immune system. This means that virus-infected lymphoid cells can grow more easily. The rapid increase in these lymphoid cells can result in lymphoma, a type of cancer. EBV-PTLD can be treated by reducing the immunosuppressive medicines, but may also need treatment with rituximab with or without chemotherapy.
Tabelecleucel is the first product developed to treatment EBV-PTLD in patients who have not been successfully treated with rituximab. Tabelecleucel is made from T-cells which are collected from the blood of healthy donors and exposed to EBV antigens so that they are able to fight EBV. These cells are expanded and stored for future use in appropriately matched patients with EBV-PTLD, who are given the product as an infusion. Tabelecleucel finds the cells expressing EBV and kills them.