Green Cross LabCell (GCLC) and Feldan Therapeutics have announced a joint research collaboration to develop a high-performance, natural killer (NK) anticancer treatment with low immunogenicity, meaning it does not trigger an unwanted immune response against itself.
GCLC developed the necessary technology and expertise to mass produce human NK cells after successfully using healthy, donor-derived NK cells in a clinical study.
Feldan is advancing therapeutic products in regenerative medicine based on the Feldan Shuttle platform, a delivery system that allows researchers to insert foreign proteins into cells with high efficiency. The platform can be used to deliver enzymes that edit the genome of human NK cells, making them better at killing cancer cells.
The collaboration will combine both technologies to develop next-generation specific and hyperactive off-the-shelf NK cells for immuno-oncology therapeutics.
NK cells are a type of a white blood cell and a component of the innate immune system — our first line of defense. They play a major role in the rejection of both tumors and virally infected cells, containing viral infections while the adaptive immune response generates antigen-specific cytotoxic T-cells that can clear the infection.
“NK cell-based immunotherapy has great potential for cancer treatment, but with this project we will bring NK cell efficiency to another level by creating a unique off-the-shelf product showing higher specificity and persistence for a prolonged effect in patient,” François-Thomas Michaud, chief executive officer of Feldan Therapeutics, said in a press release.
GCLC and Feldan started working together in 2016 to develop the basic research structure of this new NK cell-based immunotherapy project. The collaboration is part of an agreement between Canada and South Korea to advance science and technology innovations.
Participants of the Phase 1 trial will first undergo a round of chemotherapy to eliminate diseased white blood cells. They will then receive two doses of NAM-NK cells followed by a short course of interleukin-2 to enhance the survival and expansion of NAM-NK cells.
Read more about the new trial involving this natural killer immunotherapy candidate.