Disappointing sales of Molmed’s stem cell transplant add-on, Zalmoxis, could be a worry to rivals Bellicum and Kiadis. So far, Molmed is blaming Zalmoxis’s lacklustre launch on its marketing partner, Dompé – but its competitors will no doubt be watching for signs of weak demand. Zalmoxis, which got the go-ahead in Europe two years ago, consists of T cells that have been modified to include a “suicide switch”. It is given as part of haematopoietic stem cell transplantation in partially matched blood cancer patients; the risk of graft-versus-host disease normally means that a fully matched donor is needed, but here the suicide switch serves as a safety net to ablate the cells in case complications do arise. This makes Zalmoxis similar to Bellicum’s BPX-501, which is due to be filed in Europe next year – a clinical hold in the US was recently lifted. Meanwhile, Kiadis’s Atir101 does not include a suicide switch but undergoes a procedure to remove GvHD-causing cells. It is unclear yet whether Molmed wants a new partner for Zalmoxis – if it does, and manages to get one, and sales still do not pick up, then Bellicum and Kiadis might have something to worry about.
|Stem cell transplant add-ons|
|Zalmoxis||Molmed||Ganciclovir/valganciclovir-triggered "suicide switch"||Approved in EU, phase III in US|
|BPX-501||Bellicum||Rimiducid-triggered "suicide switch"; alpha/beta T cells removed||EU filing due 2019, phase I/II in US|
|Atir101||Kiadis||GvHD-causing cells removed using Kiadis's photodepletion tech||Filed in EU, phase III in US|
|Source: Company websites.|