It is hard to keep up with the multiple myeloma research that is published these days, many with novel treatment targets. One example is the drug talquetamab, also known as JNJ 64407564 (from the development pipeline of Johnson & Johnson), currently being investigated to treat myeloma. This compound is a first in class novel treatment that has shown encouraging results in early studies of heavily pretreated patients with relapsed and refractory myeloma. Talquetamab is a bi-specific antibody with two targets:
When the drug binds both the myeloma and the T-cells compounds are released that kill the malignant myeloma cells.
A Phase I study was completed last year. Remember that a Phase I study in humans is designed to treat safety and efficacy of a novel compound at various dosing levels in an effort to find the dose that is the best therapeutically for future patients, without compromising the patients’ safety. Results can be summarized as follows:
Indications are that, at the recommended dose level talquetamab may be used as monotherapy, or single drug. This is a compound that shows solid potential for us, multiple myeloma patients, in the future, assuming that all continues to go well with the Phase II and Phase III clinical trials. Phase II studies are expected to start soon.
Those patients who are interested to learn more about the upcoming trials may wish to click on this link for trial sites, inclusion and exclusion criteria.
To learn more about bi-specific antibodies and how they work, watch our recent Myeloma Crowd Round Table here. To compare all bi-specific antibodies that are currently in development in myeloma (and there are many), click here.
about the author
I am a patient diagnosed in 2014 with primary plasma cell leukemia (pPCL), a rare and aggressive variant of multiple myeloma and have been very fortunate to find successful treatment at the division of Cellular Therapy at the Duke University Cancer Institute. My wife, Vicki, and I have two adult children and two grandsons who are the ‘lights of our lives’. Successful treatment has allowed Vicki and I to do what we love best : traveling the world, albeit it with some extra precautions to keep infections away. My career in the pharmaceutical industry has given me insights that I am currently putting to use as an advocate to lower drug pricing, especially prices for anti-cancer drugs. I am a firm believer that staying mentally active, physically fit, compliant to our treatment regimen and taking an active interest in our disease are keys to successful treatment outcomes.