University of Pennsylvania

FDA Approves First-Of-Its-Kind T-Cell Cancer Therapy Developed By Penn and CHOP

The Food and Drug Administration approved a personalized cellular therapy treatment for leukemia developed by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

The T-Cell therapy, which will be marketed by Novartis as Kymriah, was OK'd as treatment for patients up to 25 years of age with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia that is refractory, or in second or later relapse.

In 2012, Penn and Novartis — a Swiss drug company that has its U.S headquarters in New York — entered into a global collaboration to further research, develop and commercialize Kymriah and other CAR-T cell therapies for the treatment of cancers.

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The therapy treats cancer by boosting the ability of a patient's own immune systems to identify and kill tumors is based on technology developed by a team of researchers led by Dr. Carl June, director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies at Penn's Abramson Cancer Center.

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