UAMS Myeloma Researcher Sees‘ Impressive’ Results in Clinical Trials of Bispecific Antibody Treatments

By David Robinson

Schinke is leading a clinical trial at UAMS of a promising new bispecific antibody drug, talquetamab, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in August of 2023.

Bispecific antibodies influence the immune system, activating a patient’s own T-cells to kill their cancer cells.

“It’s not a curative drug, but we’ve had relapsed refractory patients responding for up to a year or even longer, and that was amazing,” Schinke said.

UAMS enrolled 16 patients in the study, the highest of any site in the national study, with more than 70% of participants responding positively to the drug, which Schinke called “impressive.”

By May 2023, the Myeloma Center had three open studies for bispecific antibody therapies and three more in the pipeline. The additional studies have different molecular targets. So far, all of them are showing about the same level of effectiveness, Schinke said.

Although patients’ myeloma may return, the bispecific antibodies buy precious time for the development of new drugs, or even allowing the reuse of another myeloma therapy.

“This new class of drugs is enabling us to provide a bridge to other treatments,” Schinke said. “When they relapse on a bispecific antibody treatment, it doesn’t mean that’s the end. In fact, because of their break from a prior treatment, they may be able to return to that therapy.”