David Porter, MD, on Enabling the Expansion of CAR T to Autoimmune Diseases


The director of Cell Therapy and Transplant at Penn Medicine discussed how experience with CAR T in oncology has enabled the use of the technology in autoimmune diseases.

“It became clear if they are effective and you can use them safely in B-cell malignancies, perhaps they could be used safely in other diseases that are caused by B-cell abnormalities and, in the case of autoimmune disease, caused by abnormal B-cells producing auto antibodies, for instance. And so, I think the ability to understand the toxicity and use them in a safe manner really has led to the ability to apply CAR T-cell therapy to autoimmune diseases.”

This is part 2 of an interview with David Porter, MD. Click here to view the first part.

The next wave of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy indications looks poised to come from the field of autoimmune disease, a marked shift from its approved hematological malignancy indications. Last year saw a record number of CAR T-cell therapies enter clinical trials for the treatment of lupus nephritis (LN) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), with earlier programs in other autoimmune diseases.

The shift is logical, if a bit sooner than some may have predicted: approved CAR T-cell therapies target malignant B-cells, so investigations are gaining traction in B-cell-driven autoimmune diseases like SLE and LN. Among the growing list of trials entering the investigational landscape are Kyverna Therapeutics’ KYV-101 and Nkarta’s NKX019 in LN, ImmPACT Bio’s IMPT-514 and Gracell Bio’s GC012F in SLE, and Cabaletta Bio’s CABA-201 and Artiva Bio’s AB-101 being investigated in both SLE and LN.

CGTLive® spoke with David Porter, MD, director of Cell Therapy and Transplant and Jodi Fisher Horowitz Professor in Leukemia Care Excellence, University of Pennsylvania Medicine, to learn more about how years of experience with CAR T-cell therapy in oncology has enabled the shift to autoimmune diseases. He also noted the difference in safety and efficacy considerations between oncology and autoimmune diseases.

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