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The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved a new CAR-T therapy for multiple myeloma, a move that could ease strain on limited supplies of potentially lifesaving cancer therapies.

The treatment, called cilta-cel and developed by Janssen and Legend Biotech, involves taking immune cells from a patient’s own body and engineering them in a lab to fight a patient’s cancer. Since the first such treatment for multiple myeloma was approved last year, manufacturing challenges have severely hamstrung supply — leaving eligible patients waiting for weeks or months to receive the engineered cells.


“[The approval is] really, really exciting,” said Krina Patel, a cell therapist at the MD Anderson Cancer Center who has served on an advisory board for Janssen but did not work on cilta-cel. “The excitement is for, number one, that we’ll have another CAR-T product. The biggest issue has been the demand is so high and the supply so low.”

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