Jakob Dupont, MD: Phase 1 Data on Cell Therapy for Progressive MS


The executive vice president and head of global research and development at Atara Biotherapeutics spoke to the findings of a phase 1 study of the cell therapy ATA188.

“We are encouraged by what we’re seeing in the clinical trial because when we get into Cohort 3, we are seeing sustained disability improvement in these patients…this isn’t just one point in time where we’re seeing a patient doing better today.”

ATA188 is an investigational, allogeneic T-cell immunotherapy for patients with progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) being developed by Atara Biotherapeutics. Specifically, the agent targets cells infected by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which literature has suggested plays a role in the disease processes of MS.

The data from this first-in-human, phase 1, multicenter study (NCT03283826) were presented at MS Virtual 2020, the 8th joint ECTRIMS-ACTRIMS meeting, September 11–13, 2020. The readout included data from the first part of the trial, the open-label dose-escalation portion, and the second part—a double-blind, placebo-controlled dose-expansion study—is underway. All told, the data suggest that the agent is safe to administer and pointed to signs of positive clinical outcomes based on sustained disability improvement (SDI) measurements.

To find out more about the data that were presented and what this ATA188 could offer patients with progressive MS, NeurologyLive spoke with Jakob Dupont, MD, executive vice president, and head of global research and development, Atara Biotherapeutics. Dupont discussed the specifics of the data and offered his insight into the positive signs observed with SDI measures.

For more coverage from MS 2020, click here.

Pender MP, Hodgkinson S, Broadley S, et al. Phase I study of ATA188, an off-the-shelf, allogeneic Epstein-Barr virus-targeted T-cell immunotherapy for progressive forms of multiple sclerosis. Presented at MS Virtual 2020 Joint ACTRIMS-ECTRIMS meeting; September 11–13, 2020. Abstract P0226.
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