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  • China is host to 70 percent of all CAR cell therapy trials registered in 2017 and the first four months of 2018 (150 out of 214).
  • Of all CAR-T cell trials registered since 2001, More than half are being conducted in China.
  • As of this month, there are 56 companies in China involved in the commercialization of CAR cell therapies

According to biotech consultant David Maizenberg, “The Chinese companies are moving full steam ahead. They generally have fewer bioethics concerns and less red tape to deal with. They get a lot of government support. And we in the West haven’t done a great job of monitoring their scientists or their activity.”

One Chinese company that did get onto the radar screens of U.S. researchers is Nanjing Legend Biotech, which made a splash with a paper at last June’s ASCO meeting, the most closely watched cancer conference. The company reported Phase 1 data of an experimental CAR-T treatment showing a “quick and durable remission” of relapsed multiple myeloma in 94 percent of patients. The experimental drug is being touted as a competitor for a treatment being developed for the same indication by bluebird bio of Cambridge, and it has since partnered with Johnson & Johnson.

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