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Iovance Biotherapeutics (IOVA) and Nektar Therapeutics presented notable clinical updates on their respective melanoma programs at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer annual meeting, which just wrapped over the weekend.

First Iovance, which is developing custom-built immune cells called tumor infiltrating lymphocytes, or TILs. These cells are different from the more well-known and personalized T cell therapies called CAR-Ts that are approved to treat certain types of blood cancers.


In a clinical trial of 66 patients with melanoma no longer responsive to currently available medicines, including immunotherapies like checkpoint inhibitors, treatment with the Iovance TIL therapy called lifileucel showed a 35% overall response rate, including two complete responses. One of the partial responses just missed being assessed as a complete response. All patient scans were analyzed by independent investigators.

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