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Progress in SLE with new mRNA CAR-T cell Trial

Cartesian Therapeutics, has announced their first-in-class mRNA-engineered chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy (mRNA CAR-T) therapy has been given to the first systematic lupus erythematosus (SLE). patient in a Phase 2 open-label clinical trial. 

The investigational drug, Descartes-08, is an autologous mRNA CAR-T product targeting B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA).  This differs from previously studied DNA-based CAR-T cell therapies by: 

  • not requiring preconditioning chemotherapy 
  • self-administered out-patient therapy 

Descartes-08 has previously studied in a Phase 2 clinical trial in myasthenia gravis (MG) patients.

“Dosing of the first patient with Cartesian’s autologous mRNA CAR-T cell therapy is a monumental accomplishment for the lupus patient community,” said Susan Manzi, M.D., M.P.H., Chair of the Medicine Institute at Allegheny Health Network and Medical Director for the Lupus Foundation of America. 

This lupus Phase 2 open-label trial (NCT06038474), is expected to enroll up to 30 adult patients with moderate or severe SLE refractory to immunosuppressant therapy. Secondary outcome measures will assess overall disease activity.


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The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject