US FDA grants orphan drug designation to CARsgen’s CT041 CLDN18.2 CAR-T cells to treat gastric and gastroesophageal junction cancers

ShanghaiTuesday, October 6, 2020, 16:00 Hrs  [IST]

CARsgen Therapeutics Co Ltd, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, announced that the US FDA has granted orphan drug designation to one of CARsgen's first-in-class drug candidates, CT041, for the treatment of gastric and gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma. CT041 is a humanized anti-claudin18.2 autologous chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell product and is targeted to treat patients with claudin18.2-positive tumors.

CT041 is the first claudin18.2-targeted CAR T-cell therapy that has received Investigational New Drug (IND) clearance by the US FDA and the first to receive IND clearance by the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) in China. The initiation of an open label, multicenter, phase 1b clinical trial (NCT04404595) to evaluate the safety and efficacy of autologous CT041 cell therapy in patients with advanced gastric, gastroesophageal, or pancreatic adenocarcinoma is currently underway.

"The orphan drug designation of CT041 by the US FDA is of great significance to patients with advanced gastric cancer," said Dr. Zonghai Li, founder, CEO and CSO of CARsgen. "According to the World Health Organization, about 1,030,000 new cases of gastric adenocarcinoma are expected each year. Despite the development of novel therapies, gastric cancer is still a disease with one of the highest unmet medical needs. Our goal is to continue the development of novel, safe and effective immunotherapies. This is our long-standing commitment to cancer patients worldwide."