Introduction: Despite the recent FDA approval of autologous chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies targeting B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA), multiple myeloma (MM) remains incurable and relapsed/refractory (R/R) disease remains an area of high unmet medical need. Additionally, patient access to autologous CAR T-cell therapies is currently limited due to manufacturing constraints, the need for bridging therapy, and potentially life-threatening toxicities including cytokine release syndrome and neurologic toxicities (Munshi et al. 2021). Off-the-shelf natural killer (NK) cell therapies may offer an improved therapeutic profile and broader patient access than autologous CAR T-cell therapies.

FT576 is a first-of-kind, multiplexed-engineered BCMA CAR NK cell therapy generated from a clonal master engineered induced pluripotent stem cell line, which can be used as a renewable source for the mass production of off-the-shelf NK cells of uniform composition. FT576 is engineered with 4 modalities to combine multifaceted innate immunity with multi-antigen-targeting capability: (1) high-affinity 158V, non-cleavable CD16 (hnCD16) Fc receptor for augmented antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity; (2) IL-15/IL-15 receptor fusion that promotes NK cell persistence; (3) CD38 knockout to mitigate NK cell fratricide by CD38-directed monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and that provides improved metabolic fitness and resistance to oxidative stress within the tumor microenvironment; and (4) a BCMA-directed CAR to target plasma cells. These modalities are designed to enhance the potency and persistence of FT576 and to enable multi-antigen targeting when combined with tumor-targeting mAbs.

In preclinical studies, FT576 combined with the anti-CD38 mAb daratumumab demonstrated highly effective tumor control compared to either treatment alone or to primary CAR T cells in a disseminated MM xenograft model (Goodridge et al. 2021), suggestive that limitations in MM treatment confounded by clonal heterogeneity and antigen loss can be overcome with a dual antigen-targeting approach.

Methods: This is a Phase I trial of FT576 in patients with R/R MM. The primary objectives are to assess safety and tolerability and to determine the recommended Phase II dose of FT576, given as single or multiple doses, as monotherapy and in combination with daratumumab in R/R MM. Key secondary objectives include anti-tumor activity and pharmacokinetics.

The dose-escalation stage of the trial has the following 4 arms: single-dose FT576 monotherapy on Day 1 (Regimen A); multi-dose FT576 monotherapy on Days 1 and 15 (Regimen A1); single-dose FT576 + daratumumab on Day 1 (Regimen B); and multi-dose FT576 + daratumumab on Days 1 and 15 (Regimen B1). Dose levels of FT576 starting from 100 million cells/dose are being evaluated using a modified toxicity probability interval dose-escalation design. Daratumumab is administered per approved dose and schedule. Outpatient conditioning chemotherapy consists of 3 consecutive days of fludarabine and cyclophosphamide administered prior to the first dose of FT576.

Results: As of a data cutoff date of 18 Jul 2022, 9 patients with R/R MM were treated and evaluable for safety and efficacy, in the first 2 dose levels of Regimen A (n = 6) and in the first dose level of Regimen B (n = 3). No dose-limiting toxicities, and no events of any grade of cytokine release syndrome (CRS), immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome, or graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), were observed.

Conclusions: Administration of a single dose of FT576 at 100 or 300 million cells/dose alone or in combination with daratumumab is safe and well tolerated thus far without CRS, neurotoxicity, or GvHD. Interim clinical data, including safety and tolerability and initial anti-tumor activity, from the ongoing Phase I dose-escalation study of FT576 will be presented at the conference.

References: Goodridge JP, Bjordahl R, Mahmood S, et al. FT576: Multi-specific off-the-shelf CAR-NK cell therapy engineered for enhanced persistence, avoidance of self-fratricide and optimized mAB combination therapy to prevent antigenic escape and elicit a deep and durable response in multiple myeloma. Blood. 2020;136 (Supplement 1):4-5.

Munshi NC, Anderson LD Jr, Shah N, et al. Idecabtagene vicleucel in relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. N Engl J Med. 2021;384(8):705-716.

Dhakal:Sanofi: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding, Speakers Bureau; GlaxoSmithKline: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding; Amgen: Consultancy, Honoraria; Janssen: Consultancy, Honoraria, Research Funding, Speakers Bureau; Natera: Consultancy; Karyopharm Therapeutics: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; BMS: Honoraria, Research Funding; Arcellx: Research Funding; Carsgen: Research Funding; Cartesian: Research Funding; Fate: Research Funding; Takeda: Honoraria; Pfizer: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; AbbVie: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Genentech: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees. Berdeja:My institution, Sarah Cannon Research Institute, receives research funds in my name for the following: 2Seventy bio, Abbvie, Acetylon, Amgen, Bluebird bio, BMS, C4 Therapeutics, CARsgen, Cartesian Therapeutics, Celgene, Celularity, CRISPR Therapeutics,: Research Funding; My institution, Sarah Cannon Research Institute, received consultancy payments for the following: Bluebird bio, BMS, Celgene, CRISPR Therapeutics, Janssen, Kite Pharma, Legend Biotech, SecuraBio, Takeda: Consultancy. Ly:Fate Therapeutics, Inc.: Current Employment. Bickers:Fate Therapeutics, Inc.: Current Employment. Zong:Fate Therapeutics: Current Employment. Wong:Fate Therapeutics, Inc.: Current Employment, Current equity holder in publicly-traded company; Bristol Myers Squibb: Current equity holder in publicly-traded company, Ended employment in the past 24 months. Goodridge:Fate Therapeutics: Current Employment. Cooley:Fate Therapeutics, Inc.: Current Employment. Valamehr:Fate Therapeutics: Current Employment. Chu:Fate Therapeutics, Inc.: Current Employment, Current equity holder in publicly-traded company; Roche: Current equity holder in publicly-traded company. Byon:Fate Therapeutics, Inc.: Current Employment. Abonour:Takeda: Honoraria, Research Funding; Janssen: Honoraria, Research Funding, Speakers Bureau; GSK: Honoraria, Research Funding; Amgen: Honoraria; Bristol Myers Squibb: Honoraria, Research Funding; Prothena: Honoraria.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.

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