Gracell Doses First Patients in First-in-Human Clinical Trial of Dual-Targeting CAR-T Therapy

Gracell Biotechnologies Inc. recently announced it has dosed multiple patients in a clinical trial evaluating GC012F, the company’s autologous CAR-T therapeutic candidate dual-targeting B cell maturation antigen (BCMA) and CD19 in B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (B-NHL). NHL is the fifth most common cancer in the US.

The Phase 1 investigator-initiated trial (IIT), being conducted in China, is a first-in-human study evaluating FasTCAR-enabled BCMA/CD19 dual-targeting GC012F for the treatment of relapsed or refractory (r/r) B-NHL. GC012F is the first BCMA/CD19 dual-targeting CAR-T in human trials for B-NHL. Most B-NHL cells express CD19, and data also suggest that 39% to 97% clinical samples of NHL cells also express BCMA. By simultaneously targeting BCMA and CD19, GC012F is designed to improve efficacy outcome in r/r B-NHL patients.

GC012F, developed using Gracell’s proprietary FasTCAR platform which enables next-day manufacturing, is currently also being evaluated in IIT studies in China, including relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. In November 2021, GC012F was granted Orphan Drug Designation by the US FDA.

“Dual-targeting CD19 and BCMA represents an innovative approach for the treatment of B-NHL. This study of GC012F for r/r B-NHL marks an important step in the product candidate’s development to expand to additional indications and we look forward to confirming its potential to treat B-NHL, an indication for which patients are in need of additional treatment options,” said Dr. Martina A. Sersch, Chief Medical Officer of Gracell. “We are confident that this study will further validate GC012F, our FasTCAR platform and our dual-CAR technology.”

GC012F is a FasTCAR-enabled dual-targeting CAR-T product candidate that is currently being evaluated in IIT studies in China for the treatment of multiple myeloma and B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. GC012F simultaneously targets CD19 and BCMA to drive fast, deep and durable responses, which can improve efficacy and reduce relapse in multiple myeloma and B-NHL patients.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) is a group of blood cancers that developed from lymphocytes, most commonly derived from B cells (B-NHL). Globally, approximately 510,000 patients are diagnosed with NHL every year with over 77,000 patients diagnosed in the United States, and approximately 68,000 diagnosed in China in 2020. B-NHL accounts for approximately 85% of NHL diagnoses.

 CAR-T cells manufactured on Gracell’s proprietary FasTCAR platform appear younger, less exhausted, and show enhanced proliferation, persistence, bone marrow migration, and tumor cell clearance activities as demonstrated in preclinical studies. With next day manufacturing, FasTCAR is able to significantly improve cell production efficiency, which may result in meaningful cost savings, increasing the accessibility of cell therapies for cancer patients.

 Gracell Biotechnologies Inc. is a global clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering and developing breakthrough cell therapies. Leveraging its pioneering FasTCAR, TruUCAR, and SMART CAR technology platforms, Gracell is developing a rich clinical-stage pipeline of multiple autologous and allogeneic product candidates with the potential to overcome major industry challenges that persist with conventional CAR-T therapies, including lengthy manufacturing time, suboptimal production quality, high therapy cost and lack of effective CAR-T therapies for solid tumors. For more information, visit