China Healthcare:Still looking for quality CAR-T work

类别:行业研究 机构:国信证券(香港)金融控股有限公司 研究员:Jason Siu 日期:2018-02-07

Celgene to buy CAR-T drug-maker, Juno at USD9bn.

    On 22 Jan 2018, Celgene announced to fully acquire Juno Therapeutics, anintegrated biodrug-maker for cancer medicines. The cash consideration is USD87per Juno share, about USD9bn in total and subject to their board of directors’approval. Juno is the pioneer of CAR-T (chimeric antigen receptor) and TCR (T cellreceptor) drugs for cancer therapy. Celgene expects Juno’s CAR-T drug (JCAR017)to receive US FDA approval by end-2019, with global peak sales of USD3bn.

    Juno’s CAR-T drug (JCAR017) as potent as other approved drugs.

    Compared to the two FDA-approved CAR-T drugs (Kymriah and Yescarta), from anon-line data source, Juno’s JCAR017 targeting diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)(cancer of white blood cell B for making antibodies), appears to exhibit favorablecomplete response (likely no evidence of diseases detected) at 68% and 50% for 3and 6 months follow-up, compared to the results of the other two drugs. In thiscomparison, the patient numbers participated for JCAR017 of 33 were lower thanthat for Kymriah and Yescarta of over 80 patients each. In terms of side effectssuch as immune disorders and infectious diseases, JCAR017 data gave 1% severityversus Kymriah and Yescarta of 23% and 12% respectively. Note that Yescarta hadbeen approved by US FDA for lymphatic system cancers including DLBCL.

    Bluebird and Genscript do well in plasma cell blood cancer therapy.

    Apparently, Juno’s JCAR017 is at its pivotal program for DLBCL, whereby Celgenereckoned this will strengthen its (1) lymphoma work; and (2) global leadership inblood science (hematology), setting up growth drivers beyond 2020. Juno also hasanother CAR-T drug, JCARH125 for multiple myeloma. Unlike others, JCARH125should start its Phase I clinical trial in 1Q18. Other biodrug-makers like Bluebirdand Nanjing Legend (Genscript Biotech 1548.HK, BUY, TP:HKD34.50) showedreasonably decent result in anti-BCMA target (B-cell maturation antigen) formultiple myeloma (plasma cell type blood cancer). The former had 56%/89%patients achieved complete and very good partial responses respectively, eachhaving a studied group of 18 patients.

    Genscript CAR-T competitive as Bluebird with more solid data.

    Amongst five patients studied in Dec 2017 for the same anti-BCMA of CAR-Ttherapy, Genscript reported to have at least one case each for complete and verygood partial remission in a conference report for American Society of Hematology.

    Another source on 11 Dec 2017 cited that Genscript’s LCAR-B38M could have 15complete responses and 13 partial responses from a group of 35 patients on anti-BCMA therapy. Albeit of this encouraging result for Genscript, we keep ourapproval timeline for its Investigational New Drug status in US and China by end-1Q18 and end-2Q18 respectively.

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