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Blincyto® (blinatumomab) is a cancer therapy for the treatment of a rare form of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (B-cell ALL), and the first approved therapeutic antibody to employ so-called BiTE (bi-specific T-cell engager) technology.
The new drug helps the patient’s immune system to recognize and destroy tumour cells. It passively assists the body’s own immune system by coupling malignant tumour cells to immune cells, thereby activating the immune system and causing the malignant cells to be destroyed as a result of further activation. The antibody is also able to overcome all currently known mechanisms by which tumour cells escape immune detection.
This tailor-made biotechnological agent therefore has considerable potential in cancer therapy, and is being developed for other forms of leukaemia.

Origin: Max Delbrück Center

The approach is partly based on intellectual property from the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, which is part of the Helmholtz Association. Blinatumomab was developed by the Munich start-up Micromet. With the acquision of Micromet in 2012, the biotechnology company Amgen took up the antibody into its development pipeline. After an accelerated approval process the therapy was approved for the acute lymphoblastic leukaemia indication in December 2014 in the USA, and in November 2015 in the EU.