bluebird bio (BLUE) and Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY) Announces NEJM Publishes Results from Pivotal Phase 2 KarMMa Study of Idecabtagene Vicleucel, Investigational BCMA-Directed CAR T Cell Therapy

February 24, 2021 5:31 PM EST
Get Alerts BLUE Hot Sheet
Price: $28.50 +0.78%

Overall Analyst Rating:
    BUY (= Flat)

Trade Now! 
Join SI Premium – FREE

Get instant alerts when news breaks on your stocks. Claim your 1-week free trial to StreetInsider Premium here.

Results from the pivotal Phase 2 KarMMa study evaluating the efficacy and safety of bluebird bio, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLUE) and Bristol Myers Squibb’s (NYSE: BMY) investigational B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell immunotherapy, idecabtagene vicleucel (ide-cel; bb2121), in adult patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) who have received at least three prior therapies, including an immunomodulatory agent, a proteasome inhibitor and an anti-CD38 antibody, were published today in The New England Journal of Medicine.1

The KarMMa study met its primary endpoint of overall response rate and key secondary endpoint of complete response rate. The data from the study demonstrates deep and durable responses with ide-cel treatment in triple-class exposed RRMM patients (n=128).

“The publication of KarMMa, the first pivotal study of a CAR T cell therapy in multiple myeloma, in The New England Journal of Medicine, underscores the importance of these data and the unprecedented outcomes observed in this triple-class exposed patient population, following a single infusion of ide-cel,” said David Davidson, M.D., chief medical officer, bluebird bio. “Together with our partners at Bristol Myers Squibb, we look forward to the prospect of bringing this first-in-class BCMA-directed CAR T therapy to patients.”

Clinically meaningful responses were reported in heavily pre-treated patients across all dose levels and in multiple high-risk subgroups, including those with high-risk cytogenetics, triple- or penta-refractory disease, high tumor burden at baseline, and extramedullary disease. Clinically meaningful improvement was also observed across measures for median duration of response, median progression-free survival and overall survival in treated patients.

In the KarMMa study, ide-cel demonstrated a safety profile consistent with known toxicities of CAR T cell therapies, regardless of dose level. The most frequently reported adverse events were cytopenia and cytokine release syndrome.

“Despite the progress made in the treatment of multiple myeloma over the past decade, long-term disease-free survival is uncommon and relapses are inevitable. Currently, the patients who have progressed through the three main classes of therapy do not have very effective therapeutic options and their outcome are often poor,” said Nikhil C. Munshi, M.D., lead author, Associate Director, The Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts. “The deep and durable responses observed in a large majority of patients in the KarMMa study published today in The New England Journal of Medicine demonstrate the potential of ide-cel to address a high unmet need for patients with heavily pre-treated and highly refractory multiple myeloma.”

The research included in this manuscript was first presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2020 (ASCO20) Virtual Scientific Program in May 2020. This is the second publication in The New England Journal of Medicine to report results of a study with ide-cel.

Ide-cel is not approved for any indication in any geography.

About Idecabtagene Vicleucel (ide-cel, bb2121)

Ide-cel is a B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-directed genetically modified autologous chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell immunotherapy. The ide-cel CAR is comprised of a murine extracellular single-chain variable fragment (scFv) specific for recognizing BCMA, attached to a human CD8 α hinge and transmembrane domain fused to the T cell cytoplasmic signaling domains of CD137 (4-1BB) and CD3-ζ chain, in tandem. Ide-cel recognizes and binds to BCMA on the surface of multiple myeloma cells leading to CAR T cell proliferation, cytokine secretion, and subsequent cytolytic killing of BCMA-expressing cells.

bluebird bio and Bristol Myers Squibb’s broad clinical development program for ide-cel includes clinical studies (KarMMa-2, KarMMa-3, KarMMa-4) in earlier lines of treatment for patients with multiple myeloma, including high risk newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. For more information visit

Ide-cel is being developed as part of a Co-Development, Co-Promotion and Profit Share Agreement between Bristol Myers Squibb and bluebird bio.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has validated the MAA for ide-cel and it is currently under review. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration accepted the ide-cel Biologics License Application for priority review on September 22, 2020 and set a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) goal date of March 27, 2021.

Serious News for Serious Traders! Try Premium Free!

You May Also Be Interested In

Related Categories

Corporate News, FDA

Related Entities

Earnings, PDUFA, FDA