TRAC and Power3 Genes Knock-out Allogeneic CD19-targeting CAR-T Cell Therapy in r/r B-NHL

Chinese PLA General Hospital (Other)
Overall Status
Not yet recruiting ID
Peking University (Other), EdiGene Inc. (Industry)

Study Details

Study Description

Brief Summary

ATHENA chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T, a CD19-directed CAR-T cell immunotherapy comprised of allogeneic T cells prepared for the treatment of relapsed or refractory (r/r) B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). The cells are from healthy adult volunteer donors that are knocked out of TRAC and Power3 genes ex vivo using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing components. In this study, a second-generation anti-CD19 CAR prototype was constructed, bearing murine FMC63 single-chain variant fragment (scFv) together with intracellular CD28 co-stimulatory and CD3ζ signaling domains linked by a CD28 sequence comprising the hinge and transmembrane domains.

This is a single center, prospective, open-label, single-arm, phase 1 study. A total of 6 to 18 patients with r/r B-cell NHL will be enrolled in the study and receive allogeneic CD19-CAR-T cell infusion. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the safety of ATHENA CAR-T cell therapy in patients with r/r B-cell NHL.

Condition or Disease Intervention/Treatment Phase
Phase 1

Detailed Description

In this phase 1 study, 6-18 subjects will be enrolled. Subjects will receive 3 doses of ATHENA CAR-T cell therapy ( 1× 106 cells/kg、3× 106 cells/kg、1 × 10^7 cells/kg) increases from low dose to high dose according to the "3 + 3" principle:

Three (3) subjects are enrolled in a cohort corresponding to a dose level. If 1 subject in a cohort of 3 subjects experiences a dose-limiting toxicity (DLT), 3 additional subjects will be enrolled at the current dose level. For safety purposes, the administration of ATHENA CAR T will be staggered by 28 days between the first two subjects in each cohort. And for each of the remaining cohorts, the administration of ATHENA CAR-T will be staggered by 28 days before enter into the next cohort.

The primary objectives of the trial were to evaluate the tolerability and safety of ATHENA CAR-T in patients with r/r B-cell NHL, and determine recommended phase 2 dose (RP2D). The secondary objectives were to evaluate the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and efficacy of ATHENA CAR-T.

Study Design

Study Type:
Anticipated Enrollment :
18 participants
Intervention Model:
Single Group Assignment
None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose:
Official Title:
A Phase 1 Single-center Study Evaluating the Safety and Efficacy of TRAC and Power3 Genes Knock-out Allogeneic CD19-targeting CAR-T Cell (ATHENA) Therapy in Adults With Refractory/Relapsed B-cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Anticipated Study Start Date :
Sep 1, 2023
Anticipated Primary Completion Date :
Sep 1, 2025
Anticipated Study Completion Date :
Sep 1, 2026

Arms and Interventions

Arm Intervention/Treatment
Experimental: Patients with refractory or relapsed B-cell NHL

A conditioning chemotherapy regimen of fludarabine and cyclophosphamide will be administered followed by investigational treatment, TRAC and Power3 Gene Knock-out Allogeneic CD19-targeting CAR-T.

Biological: TRAC and Power3 Genes Knock-out Allogeneic CD19-targeting CAR-T cell (ATHENA CAR-T)
Dose escalation (3+3) : dose 1 (1 × 10^6 cells/kg) , dose 2 (3 × 10^6 cells/kg), dose 3 (1 × 10^7 cells/kg). No more than 2 × 10^5 per kilogram of allogenic residual CD3+T cells harbouring in grafts can only be released for recipient infusion.

Drug: Fludarabine
Intravenous fludarabine 30~50 mg/m^2/day on days -5, -4, and -3.
Other Names:
  • Fludarabine Phosphate for Injection
  • Drug: Cyclophosphamide
    Intravenous cyclophosphamide 500~1000 mg/m^2/day on days -5, -4, and -3.
    Other Names:
  • Cyclophosphamide for Injection
  • Outcome Measures

    Primary Outcome Measures

    1. Incidence of adverse events (AE) defined as DLT [First infusion date of CAR-T cells up to 28 days]

      DLT is defined as any AE related to the investigational drug that occurs within 28 days after administration of the ATHENA CAR-T and meets any one of the criteria listed in the DLT criteria. The severity of AE will be assessed according to NCI-CTCAE v5.0. cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and immune cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome (ICANS) will be evaluated according to the standards released by ASTCT in 2019. Graft-versus-host-disease(GvHD) according to criteria defined by the Mount Sinai Acute GVHD International Consortium. Grade 3 aGVHD that does not resolve to Grade 1 or 2 within 7 days, with the exception of isolated skin involvement aGVHD; Grade 4 CRS or grade 3 CRS that does not resolve to grade 2 or lower within 2 weeks; Grade 3 ICANS lasting for ≥7 days or Grade 4 ICANS; Any other Grade ≥4 and Grade 3 AE related to the ATHENA CAR-T that lasts for ≥14 days, except hematology toxicity.

    2. RP2D [12 months]

      The RP2D was determined through phase 1 study.

    Secondary Outcome Measures

    1. Pharmacokinetics: Levels of ATHENA CAR-positive T cells circulating in blood over time [12 months]

      Number and copy number of ATHENA CAR-T cells were assessed by number in peripheral blood. Blood samples were collected before and one year after cell infusion (until CAR-T cells were not detected for two consecutive times) to detect the number and copy number of CAR-T cells, and to evaluate the pharmacokinetics of CAR-T.

    2. Pharmacodynamics: Levels of CD19+ cells and serum cytokines in peripheral blood [Up to 28 days after infusion]

      The cytokines mainly include interleukin-2 (IL-2 ), IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), C reactive protein (CRP), ferritin.

    3. 3-month objective response rate (ORR) [3 months]

      ORR is defined as the proportion of patients who have achieved CR and PR assessed by investigators and based on the Lugano 2014 assessment criterion.

    4. Overall Survival (OS) [24 months]

      The definition of OS has already been mentioned above

    5. Progression Free Survival (PFS) [24 months]

      The definition of PFS has already been mentioned above

    Other Outcome Measures

    1. Levels of donor-specific antibody (DSA) in blood. [12 months]

      DSA refers to the specific antibody produced in the recipient's body targeting donor antigens after receiving CAR-T cell infusion from healthy donors.

    2. Levels of human anti-mouse antibodies (HAMA) [12 months]

      The levels of human against murine scFv antibodies in blood

    Eligibility Criteria


    Ages Eligible for Study:
    18 Years to 70 Years
    Sexes Eligible for Study:
    Accepts Healthy Volunteers:
    Inclusion Criteria:
    1. Age 18-70 (inclusive).

    2. Subjects who meet the following requirements:

    2.1 Histologically confirmed refractory/relapsed B cell NHL, including the following types defined by WHO 2016:

    • Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) not otherwise specified;

    • Primary mediastinal (thymic) large B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL);

    • Transformed follicular lymphoma (TFL);

    • High-grade B-cell lymphoma with MYC and BCL2 and/or BCL6 rearrangements (HGBCL);

    • Follicular lymphoma (FL);

    • Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) (pathologically confirmed, with documentation of monoclonal B cells that have a chromosome translocation t(11;14)(q13;q32) and/or overexpress cyclin D1);

    • Marginal zone lymphoma (MZL), including nodal or splenic marginal zone B-cell lymphoma and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma.

    2.2 Relapsed disease is defined as disease progression (PD) after achieving disease remission (including CR and PR) with the latest standard regimen.

    2.3 Refractory disease is defined as no CR to first-line therapy:

    • Evaluation of PD (never reached response or SD) after standard first-line treatment, or

    • SD as best response after at least 4 cycles of first-line therapy (eg,4 cycles of R-CHOP), or

    • PR as best response after at least 6 cycles and biopsy-proven residual disease or disease progression ≤ 6 months of therapy, or

    • Refractory post-autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) i. Disease progression or relapsed less than or equal to 12 months of ASCT (must have biopsy proven recurrence in relapsed individuals) ii. If salvage therapy is given post-ASCT, the individual must have had no response to or relapsed after the last line of therapy.

    2.4 Individuals who are intolerant to standard treatment can also be included in the study in the investigator's judgment.

    1. Individuals must have received adequate prior therapy:

    3.1 For MCL, prior therapy must have included:

    • Anthracycline or bendamustine-containing chemotherapy and

    • Anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (unless investigator determines that tumor is CD20-negative) and

    • Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitor (BTKi).

    3.2 For other types, prior therapy must have included:

    • Anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (unless investigator determines that tumor is CD20-negative) and

    • Anthracycline containing chemotherapy regimen.

    3.3 For individual with transformed FL must have relapse or refractory disease after transformation to DLBCL.

    1. At least 1 measurable lesion: lymph node site with a long axis >1.5cm, extranodal site with a long axis >1.0cm (according to Lugano2014). Lesions that have been previously irradiated will be considered measurable only if progression has been documented following completion of radiation therapy.

    2. CD19 positive (detected by immunohistochemistry [IHC]).

    3. Toxicities due to prior therapy must be stable and recovered to ≤ Grade 1 (except for hematological toxicities and clinically non-significant toxicities such as alopecia).

    4. Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status ≤ 2.

    5. Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) ≥ 1 x 109/L, Platelet count ≥50 x 109/L, hemoglobin (Hgb) ≥ 80g/L (hemocytopenia caused by lymphoma invasion of bone marrow is not subject to conditions above).

    6. Adequate renal, hepatic, pulmonary and cardiac function defined as:

    9.1 Serum creatinine≤1.5 upper limit of normal (ULN) or creatinine clearance (as estimated by Cockcroft Gault) ≥ 60 mL/min.

    9.2 Serum alanine aminotransferase / aspartate aminotransferase (ALT/AST) ≤ 3 upper limit of normal (ULN); Total bilirubin ≤ 1.5 ULN, except in subjects with 3) Gilbert's syndrome.

    9.3 Cardiac ejection fraction ≥ 50%, no evidence of pericardial effusion as determined by an echocardiogram (ECHO), and no clinically significant electrocardiogram (ECG) findings.

    9.4 Coagulation Function: International Normalized Ratio (INR) ≤ 1.5 times the upper limit of normal (ULN), and Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time (APTT) ≤ 1.5 times ULN.

    9.5 Baseline oxygen saturation >91% on room air.

    1. Subjects of both genders who are willing to practice birth control from the time of consent through 6 months after the completion of conditioning chemotherapy. Females of childbearing potential must have a negative serum or urine pregnancy test (females who have undergone surgical sterilization or who have been postmenopausal for at least 2 years are not considered to be of childbearing potential).

    2. Voluntarily participate in this clinical trial and sign an informed consent form.

    Exclusion Criteria:
    1. Expected survival time < 3 months per Principal Investigator's opinion.

    2. History of malignancy other than nonmelanoma skin cancer or carcinoma in situ (e.g. cervix, bladder, breast) or follicular lymphoma unless disease free for at least 3 years.

    3. Autologous stem cell transplant with therapeutic intent within 3 months of planned ATHENA CAR-T infusion.

    4. History of allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

    5. Prior CD19 targeted therapy.

    6. Patients who have used any of the following agents or treatments within a specific period of time:

    6.1 Received any chemotherapy drugs or small molecule targeted drugs within 2 weeks prior to lymphodepletion;

    6.2 Received any monoclonal antibodies, antibody drug conjugates (ADCs), or bispecific antibodies within 3 weeks prior to lymphodepletion;

    6.3 Received radiotherapy within 6 weeks prior to lymphodepletion. However, if disease progressed at the site of radiotherapy, or if there are positive lesions detected by PET-CT at non-radiotherapy sites, enrollment is allowed.

    1. Prior CAR-T therapy or other genetically modified T cell therapy.

    2. Subjects with detectable cerebrospinal fluid malignant cells, or brain metastases, or with a history of central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma or primary CNS lymphoma.

    3. History of severe, immediate hypersensitivity reaction attributed to lymphodepletion drugs or any component of ATHENA CAR-T.

    4. Presence or suspicion of fungal, bacterial, viral, or other infection that is uncontrolled or requiring intravenous (IV) antimicrobials for management.

    5. Uncontrolled or active infectious diseases, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, acute or chronic active hepatitis B or C, epstein-barr virus (EBV), and cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection.

    6. History or presence of central nervous system (CNS) disorder such as seizure disorder, cerebrovascular ischemia/hemorrhage, dementia, cerebellar disease, or any autoimmune disease with CNS involvement.

    7. Subjects with cardiac atrial or cardiac ventricular lymphoma involvement.

    8. History of myocardial infarction, cardiac angioplasty or stenting, unstable angina, or other clinically significant cardiac disease within 12 months of enrollment.

    9. Expected or possible requirement for urgent therapy within 6 weeks due to ongoing or impending oncologic emergency (eg, tumor mass effect, tumor lysis syndrome).

    10. Primary immunodeficiency.

    11. History of autoimmune disease (e.g. Crohn's, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus) resulting in end organ injury or requiring systemic immunosuppression/systemic disease modifying agents within the last 2 years.

    12. History of symptomatic deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism requiring systemic anticoagulation within 6 months of enrollment.

    13. Any medical condition likely to interfere with assessment of safety or efficacy of study treatment.

    14. History of severe immediate hypersensitivity reaction to any of the agents used in this study.

    15. Vaccine ≤ 6 weeks prior to planned start of conditioning regimen.

    16. In the investigator's judgment, the subject is unlikely to complete all protocol-required study visits or procedures, including follow-up visits, or comply with the study requirements for participation.

    Contacts and Locations


    Site City State Country Postal Code
    1 Biotherapeutic Department, Chinese PLA General Hospital Beijing China
    2 EdiGene Inc Beijing China
    3 School of Life Sciences, Peking University Beijing China

    Sponsors and Collaborators

    • Chinese PLA General Hospital
    • Peking University
    • EdiGene Inc.


    • Principal Investigator: Weidong Han, Ph.D, Biotherapeutic Department, Chinese PLA General Hospital

    Study Documents (Full-Text)

    None provided.

    More Information


    None provided.
    Responsible Party:
    Han weidong, Director of Biotherapeutic Department, Chinese PLA General Hospital Identifier:
    Other Study ID Numbers:
    • CHN-PLAGH-BT-082
    First Posted:
    Aug 28, 2023
    Last Update Posted:
    Aug 28, 2023
    Last Verified:
    Aug 1, 2023
    Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
    Plan to Share IPD:
    Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product:
    Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product:
    Additional relevant MeSH terms:

    Study Results

    No Results Posted as of Aug 28, 2023