Bristol Myers Squibb’s Breyanzi Approved as First CAR T Cell Therapy for CLL/SLL

15 March 2024 | Friday | News

Bristol Myers Squibb's CAR T Cell Therapy, Breyanzi, now approved as the first treatment for adults with relapsed or refractory CLL/SLL, offering a one-time infusion solution.


Breyanzi offers a personalized treatment option delivered as a one-time infusion that provides deep and durable responses for patients with relapsed or refractory CLL or SLL who have historically had no standard of care

In TRANSCEND CLL 004, the first pivotal multicenter trial to evaluate a CAR T cell therapy in patients with relapsed or refractory CLL or SLL, 20% of patients treated with Breyanzi achieved a complete response (CR) with median duration of CR not reached, along with an established safety profile

Breyanzi is now FDA approved for relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma and CLL or SLL, bringing this differentiated CD19-directed CAR T cell therapy to more patients

Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY)  announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted accelerated approval of Breyanzi® (lisocabtagene maraleucel; liso-cel), a CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy, for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) who have received at least two prior lines of therapy, including a Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor and a B-cell lymphoma 2 (BCL-2) inhibitor. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on response rate and duration of response. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trial(s). In R/R CLL or SLL, Breyanzi is delivered through a treatment process which culminates in a one-time infusion* with a single dose containing 90 to 110 x 106 CAR-positive viable T cells. Please see the Important Safety Information section below, including Boxed WARNINGS for Breyanzi regarding Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS), Neurologic Toxicities, and Secondary Hematological Malignancies.

“CAR T cell therapies represent a transformative treatment option for patients with certain types of blood cancers,” said Bryan Campbell, senior vice president, Head of Commercial, Cell Therapy, Bristol Myers Squibb. “For years, attempts to bring other CAR T cell therapies to patients with relapsed or refractory CLL or SLL met challenges and found little success. With the approval of Breyanzi as the first CAR T for relapsed or refractory CLL or SLL, we are now able to offer these patients a personalized option, while further expanding access across the broadest array of B-cell malignancies, to address this critical unmet need.”

CLL and SLL are among the most common types of B-cell lymphoma. Treatments for people living with CLL or SLL primarily consist of targeted therapies including BTK- and BCL-2 inhibitors. However, patients often experience relapse or become refractory following early-line treatment with these therapies and there is no established standard of care for patients with double-class exposed CLL or SLL. After relapsing or becoming refractory to these therapies, patients have few options and poor outcomes, including lack of durable complete responses.

The Phase 1/2 open-label, single-arm TRANSCEND CLL 004 study was the first pivotal multicenter trial to evaluate a CAR T cell therapy in patients with relapsed or refractory CLL or SLL. The CR rate associated with Breyanzi treatment was 20% (95% CI: 11.1-31.8). Among patients who achieved a CR, median duration of response was not reached (95% CI: 15 months-NR) at the time of data cutoff. Among all responders (ORR = 45%; 95% CI: 32.3-57.5), median duration of response was 35.3 months (95% CI: 12.4-NR). High rates of minimal residual disease (MRD) negative status were observed across patients treated with Breyanzi who achieved a CR, with an MRD-negativity rate of 100% in the blood (95% CI: 75.3-100) and 92.3% in the bone marrow (95% CI: 64-99.8).

“CLL and SLL are currently considered incurable diseases with few treatment options in the relapsed setting that can confer complete responses, something that has historically been associated with improved long-term outcomes,” said Tanya Siddiqi, M.D., lead investigator and Associate Professor, Division of Lymphoma, City of Hope National Medical Center. “The FDA approval of liso-cel in relapsed or refractory CLL and SLL after treatment with prior BTKi and BCL2i is a remarkable breakthrough, shifting the treatment paradigm from continuous therapy with sequential regimens to overcome drug resistance, to a one-time personalized T-cell based approach that has the potential to offer patients complete and lasting remission.”

Among 89 patients in the study treated with Breyanzi, occurrences of cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and neurologic events (NEs) were mostly low grade. Any grade CRS occurred in 83% of patients, with Grade 3 CRS occurring in 9% of patients. No Grade 4/5 CRS events were reported. Any grade NEs were reported in 46% of patients, with Grade 3 NEs reported in 20% of patients and one case of Grade 4 NE reported. No Grade 5 NEs were reported.

“For people struggling with relapsed or refractory CLL or SLL, current treatment choices are limited,” said Dr. Brian Koffman, physician, CLL patient and cofounder, executive vice president and chief medical officer of CLL Society. “The approval of Breyanzi as the first CAR T cell therapy available for relapsed or refractory CLL or SLL brings new hope to these patients with the potential for durable responses after a single CAR T infusion. We are grateful to the patients and their families who enter the trials and to all the researchers involved in making possible this important new treatment option in CLL and SLL.”

Bristol Myers Squibb offers various programs and resources to address the needs of patients and caregivers, and provides support that allows for access to therapies, including Breyanzi. Bristol Myers Squibb also supports the patient and physician treatment experience by providing Cell Therapy 360, a digital service platform, which optimizes access to relevant information, manufacturing updates, and patient and caregiver support.

Stay Connected

Sign up to our free newsletter and get the latest news sent direct to your inbox


Forgot your password?



Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive a link to create a new password.

Back to log-in