Allogene Therapeutics and Foresight Diagnostics Announce Partnership to Develop MRD-based In-Vitro Diagnostic for Use in ALPHA3, the First Pivotal Trial for Frontline Consolidation in Large B-Cell Lymphoma

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  • Partnership Will Utilize Foresight’s Ultra-Sensitive MRD Technology to Identify Patients for Enrollment in Allogene’s ALPHA3 Trial

SAN FRANCISCO and BOULDER, Colo., Jan. 04, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Allogene Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: ALLO), a clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering the development of allogeneic CAR T (AlloCAR T™) products, and Foresight Diagnostics (Foresight), the leader in the development of ultra-sensitive liquid biopsy circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) detection today announced a strategic partnership to develop a minimal residual disease (MRD) in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) to determine eligibility in ALPHA3, the first pivotal trial for first line (1L) consolidation treatment of large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL).

The ALPHA3 trial uses Foresight’s investigational PhasED-Seq™ ctDNA-MRD platform to identify patients with MRD after 1L treatment for LBCL. The study will evaluate whether such patients benefit from consolidation with cemacabtagene ansegedleucel, or cema-cel (previously known as ALLO-501A). If successful, cema-cel could become part of the 1L treatment plan for newly diagnosed LBCL patients who are at a high risk for recurrence. Start-up activities for the ALPHA3 trial have been initiated.

“We knew that an ultra-sensitive ctDNA-based biomarker would be crucial to accurately identify patients with minimal residual disease whose cancer will likely recur. Foresight was the partner we were waiting for due to PhasED-Seq’s robust evidence and reputation as the most reliable and sensitive MRD assay in development for LBCL,” said David Chang, M.D., Ph.D., President, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Allogene. “The combination of rapid, blood-based testing and an off-the-shelf allogeneic CAR T creates a unique opportunity to deliver consolidation therapy before cancer relapses. This will also allow us to aim for broader patient access to this powerful modality by making enrollment available in community centers where the infrastructure to administer autologous therapies may not be readily available.”

Although 1L R-CHOP is curative for many with LBCL, approximately 30% of patients who initially respond will later relapsei. The standard of care after 1L treatment has been simply to “watch and wait” for the disease to relapse. The reliance on radiographic imaging, the current clinical standard for relapse detection, does not allow effective consolidation approaches due to its limited accuracyii. PhasED-Seq is an ultra-sensitive and specific, plasma-based liquid biopsy that will enable cema-cel’s 1L consolidation approach in ALPHA3 through early and accurate MRD assessment beyond current radiographic imaging-based disease assessmentiii.

Growing evidence also suggests improved outcomes and safety for patients who are treated with CAR T when tumor burden is lowiv. Cema-cel’s Phase 1 safety profile, with low rates of cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome (ICANS), already permits its use in the outpatient setting in relapsed/refractory patients and may further improve in patients with no radiological evidence of disease.

“Although CAR T therapy has shown promise in multiple cancer indications, it has been relegated to later lines of treatment. The combination of cema-cel’s speed to treatment, its favorable efficacy and safety profile from the Phase 1 trial in later lines, and the ability to pair it with an accurate biomarker has provided the pathway to introduce CAR T into the first line LBCL treatment setting. Importantly, it may allow cema-cel to consolidate response in patients at high risk of relapse and in the community setting where most first line patients are managed,” said Zachary Roberts, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Research & Development and Chief Medical Officer of Allogene. “The partnership between Allogene and Foresight Diagnostics brings all the necessary components together for the first time. If successful, the combination of cema-cel and Foresight’s IVD could mark a paradigm shift in how LBCL patients are managed in the clinic.”

“We commend Allogene for pioneering ctDNA biomarkers and leading the way toward personalized medicine. The ALPHA3 study showcases their commitment to advancing patient care,” said Jake Chabon, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, and Co-Founder of Foresight Diagnostics. “Foresight is proud to deliver a technology that stands singular in performance. We look forward to working alongside Allogene to improve outcomes for patients with LBCL.”

About Foresight DiagnosticsForesight Diagnostics is a privately held cancer diagnostics company and CLIA-registered laboratory. The company has developed a novel liquid biopsy testing platform for the measurement of minimal residual disease (MRD) that is significantly more sensitive than existing tests (with a detection limit below 0.0001%, or one part-per-million). The improved sensitivity of the Foresight’s MRD assays can provide actionable information to physicians and biopharmaceutical companies to enable more personalized treatment approaches for patients with solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. For more information, please visit foresight-dx.com and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About PhasED-SeqThe Foresight MRD platform is based on the Phased variant Enrichment and Detection by Sequencing (PhasED-Seq™) technology. PhasED-Seq lowers the error profile of mutation detection in sequencing data by requiring the concordant detection of two separate non-reference events in an individual DNA molecule. By detecting more than one mutation, PhasED-Seq can more accurately distinguish tumor-derived cell free DNA (i.e., ctDNA) from healthy cell free DNA – enabling detection of ctDNA at levels below one part-per-million (

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