Arcellx, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company whose lead program is a CAR T-cell therapy for multiple myeloma, has raised an impressive $123.8 million from its IPO. Its leaders believe their cell therapy-producing technology could elevate Arcellx to be a direct competitor to the likes of pharmaceutical rivals Bristol Myers Squibb or Johnson & Johnson. The former was the first company to score FDA approval for a CAR T-cell therapy treating multiple myeloma, Abecma, and J&J is projected to follow suit in due time. Promising early clinical data for its CAR T, CART-ddBCMA, in addition to a hefty sum of fresh IPO cash, will do much to advance said candidate to a pivotal clinical trial.
The "CAR" portion of CAR T is the chimeric antigen receptor, which identifies and binds to antigens on cancer cells. These therapies are assembled through harvesting a given patient's T cells and then genetically engineering them to express antigen-specific CARs on the surface of the cell. Despite its ingenuity, the therapy comes with its fair share of side-effect risks, and some patients do not even respond to them—or if they do, a chance of relapse threatens progress. An important part of Arcellx's mission is to address and overcome these setbacks. The company's workaround employs a technology producing synthetic bind scaffolds that have been engineered to avert triggering immune responses.