By Wayne Koberstein, Executive Editor, Life Science Leader magazine
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A new cell therapy aiming to bring rebirth to stem cell transplantation
Orca Bio is developing cell therapies to make stem cell transplants safer and more effective than traditional practices by avoiding the common problems of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) and toxic conditioning. The company now focuses primarily on blood cancers and disorders with two lead products, Orca-T for allogenic transplants, and Orca-Q for haploidentical, or partially matched, transplants. Orca-T is in a Phase 3 clinical trial for treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), in patients aged 18-65, and in a Phase 1b/2 trial for the treatment of acute leukemia and MDS in patients aged 66-75. Orca-Q is in a Phase 1 trial for treating acute leukemias in patients with haploidentical donors. Additional products are in earlier programs that would expand similar treatments into other areas and indications.