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Actionable news in CLLS: Cellectis SA,

New kind of 'designer' immune cells clear baby's leukemia

Baby Layla (L) is seen with her parents, Lisa and Ashleigh, and her older sister Reya at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London in this November 4, 2015 handout photo by the hospital released on November 5, 2015.

(This version of the Nov.5 story corrects date of ASH meeting to December 5-8, para 12)

A baby whom doctors thought almost certain to die has been cleared of a previously incurable leukemia in the first human use of an "off-the-shelf" cell therapy from Cellectis that creates designer immune cells.

One-year-old Layla had run out of all other treatment options when doctors at Britain's Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) gave her the highly experimental, genetically edited cells in a tiny 1-milliliter intravenous infusion.

Two months later, she was cancer-free and she is now home from hospital, the doctors said at a briefing about her case in London on Wednesday.

"Her leukemia was so aggressive that such a response is almost a miracle," said Paul Veys, a professor and director of bone marrow transplant at GOSH who led the team treating Layla.