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Natural killer cell therapy advancing toward first-in-human clinical trial
July 2016
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SAN DIEGO—Fate Therapeutics Inc., a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of programmed cellular immunotherapies for cancer and immune disorders, presented data on its Adaptive NK Cell Therapy at the Innate Killer Summit 2016 in May in San Diego.
 
Scientists from Fate Therapeutics and the University of Minnesota demonstrated through in-vivo and in-vitro preclinical studies that Fate's Adaptive NK (natural killer) cells exhibit enhanced persistence and deliver potent antitumor activity alone and in combination with therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. Fate Therapeutics is advancing its Adaptive NK Cell Therapy through clinical translation under a research collaboration with the University of Minnesota led by Dr. Jeffrey Miller, a professor of medicine and deputy director of the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota.
 
“Adaptive NK cells are a unique set of immune cells that exhibit enhanced persistence, survival and effector function in our preclinical studies. This long-lived, multifaceted ability to kill tumor cells without prior antigen exposure, while leaving normal cells unharmed, may represent one of the most promising cell-based strategies for combating cancer,” said Miller.
 
The scientific team at Fate Therapeutics and the University of Minnesota demonstrated that Adaptive NK cells have persistent effector function against malignant targets, as compared to conventional NK cells, through both cellular cytotoxicity and cytokine secretion in preclinical studies. Additionally, when used in combination with several different therapeutic antibodies targeting specific tumor antigens—including CD20, HER2 and EGFR targets—in preclinical models, Adaptive NK cells significantly augmented antibody-directed cellular cytotoxicity. These data support the potential clinical investigation of Adaptive NK cells in the setting of both liquid and solid tumors, the researchers say.
 
“The one-time administration of an allogeneic cell therapy that has the potential to persist, and to deliver potent tumor-specific killing through multiple immuno-modalities without requiring tumor antigen recognition, poses a disruptive approach to the patient-sourced, cell-based cancer immunotherapy field,” said Scott Wolchko, president and CEO of Fate Therapeutics. “We believe the highly-differentiated product profile of our Adaptive NK Cell Therapy opens up exciting development opportunities across some of the most deadly cancers, including acute myeloid leukemia, head and neck cancer and colorectal cancer.”

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