New Hope for Multiple Myeloma Patients
CAR-T technology in Europe
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CAR-T technology in Europe
European Commission and CARAMBA join forces
The European Commission selected the project CARAMBA (“SLAMF7-CAR T cells prepared by Sleeping Beauty gene-transfer for immunotherapy of multiple myeloma – a rare hematologic disease”) within the scope of its Research and Innovation action programme, Horizon2020, on new therapies for rare diseases. The Commission supported the project over five years with funding of 6.1 million Euro to push a revolutionary approach for multiple myeloma treatment in Europe. Eleven partners in six European countries have closely collaborated to transfer the CAR-T “Breakthrough Therapy” from bench to bedside.
The international project was coordinated by the University Hospital Wuerzburg’s Department of Medicine II, a key opinion leader in cancer immunotherapy under the lead of Dr. Michael Hudecek.
The pioneering CARAMBA project has come to an end
On 30th June 2023, the EU-funded project CARAMBA has come to an end, marking five years of challenges and successes in the mission to revolutionise multiple myeloma treatment and beyond. The ultimate goal of the CARAMBA project was to develop a new virus-free CAR-T therapy and demonstrate in a Phase I/IIa clinical trial the safety and efficacy of SLAMF7 CAR-T cells against multiple myeloma cells. The treatment with SLAMF7 CAR-T was well tolerated, and importantly, no dose-limiting toxicities were observed. To exploit the full potential of SLAMF7 CAR-T cells, it is planned to continue with the CARAMBA-1 study also after the project end with the aim to complete the patient cohorts also at the highest dose level.
The EU-funded project CARAMBA is using the revolutionary CAR-T cell technology to tackle multiple myeloma, a rare hematological disease. Within CARAMBA, a phase I/II clinical trial of immunotherapy is conducted with patient-derived T-cells that are engineered to express a synthetic chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) specific for the myeloma antigen SLAMF7. SLAMF7 is uniformly expressed on all multiple myeloma cells in every patient. Supplementing its cutting-edge technology by including virus-free Sleeping Beauty CAR gene-transfer from DNA minicircles, which makes SLAMF7 CAR-T cells an economic viable and sustainable medicinal product, CARAMBA will pave the way for a therapeutically effective, commercially attractive and socioeconomically desirable treatment in myeloma.
Multiple Myeloma patients are the centre of the CARAMBA project. About 30 patients will be involved in a Phase I/II clinical trial, being the first patients in Europe treated with SLAMF7 CAR-T cells. The trial has opened in 2020 and in principle all EU citizens fulfilling the trial’s eligibility criteria are welcome to participate.