In the pivotal clinical study, 98 percent of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma responded to a one-time treatment with ciltacabtagene autoleucel and 78 percent of patients who responded experienced a stringent complete response

HORSHAM, PA, USA I February 28, 2022 I The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson announced today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved CARVYKTI™ (ciltacabtagene autoleucel; cilta-cel) for the treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) after four or more prior lines of therapy, including a proteasome inhibitor, an immunomodulatory agent, and an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody.1 The approval is based on data from the pivotal CARTITUDE-1 study, which included patients who had received a median of six prior treatment regimens (range, 3-18), and had previously received a proteasome inhibitor, an immunomodulatory agent and an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody.1 In December 2017, Janssen entered into an exclusive worldwide license and collaboration agreement with Legend Biotech USA, Inc. to develop and commercialize ciltacabtagene autoleucel.

CARVYKTI™ is a chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy featuring two B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-targeting single domain antibodies.1 In the pivotal CARTITUDE-1 study, one-time treatment with ciltacabtagene autoleucel resulted in deep and durable responses, with 98 percent (95 percent Confidence Interval [CI], 92.7-99.7) of patients with RRMM responding to therapy (98 percent overall response rate [ORR] (n=97).1 Notably, 78 percent (95 percent CI, 68.8-86.1) of the patients achieving this level of response (n=76) experienced a stringent complete response (sCR), a measure in which a physician is unable to observe any signs or symptoms of disease via imaging or other tests after treatment.1 At a median of 18 months follow-up, median duration of response (DOR) was 21.8 months.

CARVYKTI™ is available only through a restricted program under a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) called the CARVYKTI™ REMS Program.1 The Safety Information for CARVYKTI™ includes a Boxed Warning regarding Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS), Immune Effector Cell-Associated Neurotoxicity Syndrome (ICANS), Parkinsonism and Guillain-Barré syndrome, hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis/macrophage activation syndrome (HLH/MAS), and prolonged and/or recurrent cytopenias.1 Warnings and Precautions include prolonged and recurrent cytopenias, infections, hypogammaglobulinemia, hypersensitivity reactions, secondary malignancies, and effects on ability to drive and use machines.1 The most common adverse reactions (≥20 percent) are pyrexia, CRS, hypogammaglobulinemia, hypotension, musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, infections-pathogens unspecified, cough, chills, diarrhea, nausea, encephalopathy, decreased appetite, upper respiratory tract infection, headache, tachycardia, dizziness, dyspnea, edema, viral infections, coagulopathy, constipation, and vomiting.

“We are committed to harnessing our science, deep disease understanding and capabilities to bring forward cell therapies like CARVYKTI as we continue to focus on our ultimate goal of delivering a cure for multiple myeloma,” said Peter Lebowitz, M.D., Ph.D., Global Therapeutic Area Head, Oncology, Janssen Research & Development, LLC. “We extend our sincere gratitude to the patients, their families and the teams of researchers and study centers who have participated in the clinical study of CARVYKTI and enabled today’s approval.”

Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer that affects a type of white blood cell called plasma cells, which are found in the bone marrow.2 Despite the development of additional treatment options in recent years, most people living with multiple myeloma face poor prognoses after experiencing disease progression following treatment with three major therapy classes, which include an immunomodulatory agent, a proteasome inhibitor and an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody.3

“The responses in the CARTITUDE-1 study showed durability over time and resulted in the majority of heavily pretreated patients achieving deep responses after 18-month follow-up,” said Sundar Jagannath, M.D., Director of the Center of Excellence for Multiple Myeloma and Professor of Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology, at The Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and principal study investigator. “The approval of cilta-cel provides physicians an immunotherapy treatment option that offers patients an opportunity to be free from anti-myeloma therapies for a period of time.”

As a personalized medicine, CARVYKTI™ treatment requires extensive training, preparation, and certification to ensure a positive experience for patients. Through a phased approach, Janssen and Legend Biotech will activate a limited network of certified treatment centers as the company works to scale its production capacity and increase the availability of CARVYKTI™ throughout the U.S. in 2022 and beyond, to ensure that we can provide CARVYKTI™ treatment to oncologists and their patients in a reliable and timely manner.

“This approval of Janssen’s first cell therapy is a testament to our continuing commitment in oncology to deliver new therapeutic options and drive toward our vision of the elimination of cancer,” said Mathai Mammen, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Pharmaceuticals, Janssen Research & Development, LLC, Johnson & Johnson. “Today’s approval underscores our determination to develop therapies that can help patients living with what remains an intractable blood cancer today and at the same time offer hope for the future.”

The longer-term efficacy and safety profile of ciltacabtagene autoleucel is being assessed in the ongoing CARTITUDE-1 study. Two-year follow-up results recently presented at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) 2021 Annual Meeting showed that 98 percent of patients treated with ciltacabtagene autoleucel for RRMM responded to therapy (98 percent overall response rate [ORR] (n=97), and a majority of patients achieving sustained depth of response with 83 percent of patients achieving an sCR at the 22-month follow-up.4

About CARVYKTI(ciltacabtagene autoleucel)
CARVYKTI™ is a BCMA-directed, genetically modified autologous T-cell immunotherapy, which involves reprogramming a patient’s own T-cells with a transgene encoding a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) that identifies and eliminates cells that express the B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA). BCMA is primarily expressed on the surface of malignant multiple myeloma B-lineage cells, as well as late-stage B-cells and plasma cells. The CARVYKTI™ CAR protein features two BCMA-targeting single domain antibodies designed to confer high avidity against human BCMA. Upon binding to BCMA-expressing cells, the CAR promotes T-cell activation, expansion, and elimination of target cells.1 

In December 2017, Janssen Biotech, Inc. entered into an exclusive worldwide license and collaboration agreement with Legend Biotech USA, Inc. to develop and commercialize ciltacabtagene autoleucel.

In April 2021, Janssen announced the submission of a Marketing Authorisation Application to the European Medicines Agency seeking approval of CARVYKTI™ for the treatment of patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma. In addition to a U.S. Breakthrough Therapy Designation granted in December 2019, ciltacabtagene autoleucel received a Breakthrough Therapy Designation in China in August 2020. Janssen also received an Orphan Drug Designation for CARVYKTI™ from the U.S. FDA in February 2019, and from the European Commission in February 2020.

About the CARTITUDE-1 Study
CARTITUDE-1 (NCT03548207) is an ongoing Phase 1b/2, open-label, multi-center study evaluating ciltacabtagene autoleucel for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma, who previously received a proteasome inhibitor (PI), an immunomodulatory agent (IMiD) and an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody, and who had disease progression on or after the last regimen. All patients in the study had received a median of six prior treatment regimens (range, 3-18). Of the 97 patients enrolled in the trial, 99 percent were refractory to the last line of treatment and 88 percent were triple-class refractory, meaning their cancer did not respond, or no longer responds, to an IMiD, a PI and an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody.1

About Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer that affects some white blood cells called plasma cells, which are found in the bone marrow.3 When damaged, these plasma cells rapidly spread and replace normal cells in the bone marrow with tumors. In 2022, it is estimated that more than 34,000 people will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma, and more than 12,000 people will die from the disease in the U.S.5 While some people diagnosed with multiple myeloma initially have no symptoms, most patients are diagnosed due to symptoms that can include bone fracture or pain, low red blood cell counts, tiredness, high calcium levels, kidney problems or infections.2

Please read full Prescribing Information including Boxed Warning for CARVYKTI™.

About the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson
At Janssen, we’re creating a future where disease is a thing of the past. We’re the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, working tirelessly to make that future a reality for patients everywhere by fighting sickness with science, improving access with ingenuity, and healing hopelessness with heart. We focus on areas of medicine where we can make the biggest difference: Cardiovascular & Metabolism, Immunology, Infectious Diseases & Vaccines, Neuroscience, Oncology, and Pulmonary Hypertension.

Learn more at Follow us at and Janssen Research & Development, LLC and Janssen Biotech, Inc. are part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

1 CARVYKTI™ Prescribing Information. Horsham, PA: Janssen Biotech, Inc.
2 American Cancer Society. “What Is Multiple Myeloma?” Available at: Accessed February 2022.
3 Gandhi, U., Cornell, R., Lakshman A., et al. Outcomes of patients with multiple myeloma refractory to CD38-targeted monoclonal antibody therapy. Leukemia. 2019;33(9).
4 Martin, T. Updated Results From CARTITUDE-1: Phase 1b/2 Study of Ciltacabtagene Autoleucel, a B-cell Maturation Antigen–Directed Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cell Therapy, in Patients With Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma. Abstract #549 [Oral]. Presented at the 2021 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition.
5 American Cancer Society. “Key Statistics About Multiple Myeloma.” Available at: Accessed February 2022.

SOURCE: Janssen