Skip to NavigationSkip to content

Nkarta data supports natural killer cells in cancer treatment

Published on 06/12/22 at 10:23am

San Francisco, US-based Nkarta have been assessing the power of natural killer (NK) cells in oncology treatments. The treatment is as-yet unproven but appears hopefully at this early stage. Nkarta has just reported results from an early-stage trial of its CAR-NK therapies, which looks likely to generate enthusiasm to this area of research.

The data has shown that 7 out of 10 non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) patients treated with a medium or high dose of the CD19-targetting CAR-NK therapy candidate NKX19 experienced complete responses, with their cancer going into remission. A lower dose of the CAR-NK also saw a complete response in 1 in 4 patients with NHL, but generated no responses in a group of five patients with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia or chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

Nkarta believe that CAR-NK could be easier to tolerate than CAR-T therapies, as well as being an off-the-shelf therapy, meaning it does not need cell harvesting, production and re-infusion processes as required with current therapies.

Patients experienced some infusion-related side effects but these were manageable and easily resolved, with no cases of neurotoxicity, graft versus host disease (GvHD) or cytokine release syndrome (CRS), all of which are associated with CAR-T therapies.

The company now aims to expand the trials to explore combination and single-agent regiments for treating patients with large B cell lymphoma, in order to “address the large unmet need in patients who have received prior autologous CAR T therapy,” with these expected to begin in 2024.

Nkarta’s chief executive, Paul Hastings, commented: “NKX019 continues to demonstrate impressive single-agent activity, preliminary durability and an encouraging safety profile as an off-the-shelf, on-demand cell therapy for heavily pre-treated patients with NHL.”


Betsy Goodfellow

Mission Statement is a leading portal for the pharmaceutical industry, providing industry professionals with pharma news, pharma events, pharma service company listings and pharma jobs,
Site content is produced by our editorial team exclusively for and our industry newspaper Pharmafocus. Service company profiles and listings are taken from our pharmaceutical industry directory, Pharmafile, and presented in a unique Find and Compare format to ensure the most relevant matches