A: OFF-THE-SHELF (ALLOGENEIC) CELL THERAPIES HOLD THE PROMISE OF GREATLY INCREASING PATIENT ACCESS TO THESE LIFE-CHANGING MEDICINES. However, they are complex, and their effectiveness remains to be demonstrated in the clinic. The approved autologous CD19 CAR-T products have set a high bar, and we are making progress in the development of allogeneic cell therapies. I believe they are the future of the field but will continue to be reserved for severe diseases where simpler therapeutic options are not applicable. I expect that, at least in the short term, the focus will be on developing allogeneic versions of successful autologous CAR-T therapies, rather than developing novel allogeneic CAR-T candidates from scratch.
SANDY MACRAE, M.B., CH.B., PH.D., is President and CEO of Sangamo Therapeutics.