Glycostem Therapeutics, a leading clinical-stage company, announced it has received the FDA's Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) for treatment of multiple myeloma (MM) patients with its investigational product oNKord. The designation will provide Glycostem with certain incentives, like eligibility for 7 years of market exclusivity and clear FDA guidance on specific aspects of development for rare diseases. These pave an accelerated path towards market access and treatment of patients suffering from this relatively rare form of cancer.
oNKord is Glycostem's first-generation off-the-shelf Natural Killer (NK) cellular immunotherapy product. Over the coming months, AML patients will receive this form of treatment as part of a phase I-IIa (pivotal) trial in AML. A phase II trial for MM patients is expected to start in 2021. This makes Glycostem one of the frontrunners in this promising field of cellular immunotherapy.
“Since 2012 we have been pioneers in the field of developing and manufacturing off-the-shelf Natural Killer cell therapy products for cancer treatment. In 2020 we're entering a new and exciting phase,” says Troels Jordansen, CEO of Glycostem. “It is great to experience that after receiving FDA and EMA ODD designation for AML, the FDA has also granted us this designation for MM. This allows us to accelerate oNKord's access to the US market and our ultimate ambition: curing cancer.”
MM is the second most common blood cancer, accounting for 15% of blood cancers, and 2% of all cancers. In the US alone it affects more than 130,000 patients; approximately 32,000 Americans are diagnosed with MM each year. MM occurs in infection-fighting plasma cells (a type of white blood cell) found in the bone marrow. These cancerous cells multiply, produce an abnormal protein and push out other healthy blood cells from the bone marrow.