December 19, 2022 was a history-making day in the world. For the first time, a treatment called an allogeneic T-cell immunotherapy received approval from a regulatory agency. And some of our Be The Match BioTherapies® donors played a critical role in bringing this life-saving therapy to patients.
The therapy is called tabelecleucel, which has the commercial name EbvalloTM in Europe. Ebvallo treats a rare, but often fatal, cancer called Epstein-Barr virus positive post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (EBV+ PTLD). EBV+ PTLD is a cancer that can be brought on by a blood stem cell transplant or a solid organ transplant.
Before Ebvallo, these patients had few treatment options available. They often lived only a few weeks to a few months. Patients could now receive Ebvallo if they had a different treatment and the treatment didn’t work or the cancer came back.
A single donation offers hope to many
Ebvallo is an allogeneic therapy developed by Atara Biotherapeutics, which has been a Be The Match BioTherapies partner since 2016. Allogeneic means the therapy is created using cells from a donor. Many therapy doses can be created from that one donation.
Be The Match BioTherapies partners have produced thousands of therapy doses using blood cells donated by Be The Match Registry® members.
“We cannot overstate how important our Be The Match Registry members have been—and continue to be—in our Atara partnership and the future of medicine,” said Jamie Margolis, senior vice president of Donor Services for Be The Match BioTherapies.
“Right now, Ebvallo is only approved in Europe. That means donations from our Be The Match BioTherapies donors are also critical for the development of therapies that are being used in clinical trials today.
“Beyond Ebvallo, our donors make an impact in the development of other allogeneic cell therapies, too. Allogeneic therapies rely on donors like ours. Just a single donation from one donor has the potential to give many patients a second chance at life,” Jamie said.
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