XNK Therapeutics AB (“XNK”) today announced that the company’s autologous natural killer (NK) cell therapy candidate XNK04 will be evaluated in combination with an ADCC competent PD-L1 inhibitor in liver cancer under a research agreement with a global pharma company.
The preclinical validation study aims to test the cell therapy candidate XNK04 alone and in combination with an antibody checkpoint inhibitor against autologous cancer cells isolated from patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The study will provide data to support initiation of a potential future clinical phase I/II trial.
“We will explore synergistic effects of the combination. This is a study where we test an individualized NK cell-based therapy on isolated patient-specific tumor material, and it is our ambition to validate this combination approach in HCC,” said Johan Liwing, CEO at XNK.
The study will test the hypothesis that the well documented big pharma PD-L1 antibody, when combined with the expanded and activated NK cells, will facilitate NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity against HCC tumor cells.
“We are excited about entering into this collaborative study. This preclinical research agreement with a renowned big pharma company lends valuable support to our clinical strategy and shows that there is strong interest in the industry for our technology,” said Markus Thor, Chief Business Officer at XNK.
The HCC study adds to XNK’s clinical phase II program in multiple myeloma and preclinical programs in urothelial cancer and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). XNK retains all commercial rights to XNK04.
About Hepatocellular Cancer
Cancer in the liver is a major health problem and is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Each year more than 800,000 people are diagnosed with liver cancer worldwide. HCC constitutes around 80% of all primary liver cancers. Risk factors for developing HCC include e.g. fatty liver disease, alcohol consumption and hepatitis B and C. Treatments include surgery, trans-arterial chemoembolization (TACE), chemotherapy, targeted drug therapy and checkpoint inhibitors. The medical need remains significant with high recurrence rates and with 5-year survival rates around 20%.
For more information, please contact:
Johan Liwing, CEO, XNK Therapeutics
Tel: +46 706 70 36 75
About XNK Therapeutics AB
XNK Therapeutics is a clinical stage immunotherapy company focused on bringing new and more effective treatments to cancer patients. The company is at the forefront of autologous NK cell-based cell therapy development with a proprietary technology platform and a pipeline spanning both hematological malignancies and solid tumor indications. The most advanced product, evencaleucel, is in phase II studies in combination with the CD38 antibody isatuximab targeting multiple myeloma. Other programs include XNK02 in AML, currently in advanced preclinical studies in collaboration with MD Anderson Cancer Center and XNK03 in bladder cancer, currently in preclinical studies in collaboration with the Karolinska University Hospital. XNK’s efforts are supported by a dedicated team that include world-renowned NK cell experts and by an approved in-house GMP facility. XNK Therapeutics is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. For more info, please visit www.xnktherapeutics.com.