WALTHAM, Mass. (April 28, 2021) — Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. has made a donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in recognition of the recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the first CAR T cell immunotherapy for multiple myeloma developed by Bristol Myers Squibb and bluebird bio.
Abecma® (idecabtagene vicleucel; ide-cel) is a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell immunotherapy for the treatment of certain adult patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma, a blood cancer formed by malignant plasma cells and typically originating in the bone marrow.
The lentiviral vector used to engineer patients’ T cells was developed by bluebird bio and is manufactured at Thermo Fisher’s viral vector manufacturing site in Cambridge, Mass., which received a commercial license for viral vector manufacturing.
“We congratulate Bristol Myers Squibb and bluebird bio on this important achievement and bringing the first B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-directed CAR T cell therapy for patients with multiple myeloma experiencing the devastating effects of this disease,” said Mike Shafer, senior vice president, pharma services, Thermo Fisher Scientific. “We are proud to be a partner in bringing this novel treatment to patients.”
The site in Cambridge is part of Thermo Fisher’s growing global network of cell and gene therapy facilities, which include fully integrated development and manufacturing capabilities: viral vector services in Cambridge, Lexington and Plainville, Mass.; Alachua, Fla.; Gosselies and Seneffe, Belgium; GMP plasmids manufacturing in Carlsbad, Calif. and Watertown, Mass.; cell therapy manufacturing in Princeton, NJ; cryogenic and cold chain supply chain services in Rockville and Frederick, MD; Franklin, Mass.; Vacaville, Calif.; Bishop’s Stortford and Stevenage, UK; Weil am Rhein, Germany; and Tokyo, Japan.
In the U.S., an estimated 34,000 new cases of multiple myeloma will be diagnosed in 2021.1
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1American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2021. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society; 2021. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/multiple-myeloma/about/key-statistics.html.