Our Infectious Disease program, K-NK-ID101, is initially focused on the development of K-NK cells as a treatment for COVID-19.
Kiadis is studying the properties of Kiadis K-NK cells and their suitability to fight SARS-CoV-2 and the option to develop Kiadis K-NK cells as a post-exposure pre-emptive therapy for COVID-19 in high risk patients. K-NK cells enhance multiple aspects of antiviral immunity. In immunocompromised transplant patients, K-NK cells have shown significant reduction of potentially lethal CMV reactivation and BKV infection. K-NK cells work synergistically with antibodies, immunoglobulins and vaccines1.
ABOUT K-NK Cells and COVID-19
COVID-19 breaks down NK cell immunity, and severe COVID-19 patients lack functional NK cells2. Kiadis is doing research regarding the potential enhanced anti-viral activity of K-NK-ID101 cells, while avoiding exacerbating needless inflammation, and whether K-NK-ID101 cells may therefore be uniquely suited to repair this lack of functional NK cells in people with COVID infection. Since K-NK-ID101 cells can be manufactured at large scale and frozen down, they can be immediately and globally made available to patients. Also, the broad anti-viral activity of K-NK cells could potentially serve as a universal countermeasure to fight future viral pandemics.
Kiadis is supporting the development of the K-NK-ID101 program through government funding, and has received $9.5 million through the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute’s (ARMI) BioFabUSA Program in partnership with the United States Department of Defense. Additionally, Kiadis has established a collaboration with ARMI to build state-of-the-art manufacturing capacity in the United States and accelerate the industrialization of K-NK-cell therapy. ARMI is funded by the United States Department of Defense to advance large-scale manufacturing of engineered tissues and tissue-related technologies, including cell therapy.
Kiadis plans to initiate a phase 1/2a clinical trial evaluating use of K-NK cells to treat COVID 19 patients with government grant funding.
1. Ciurea, S.O., et al. Phase 1 clinical trial using mbIL21 ex vivo-expanded donor-derived NK cells after haploidentical transplantation. Blood 130, 1857-1868 (2017).
2. Wang, D. et al. Clinical Characteristics of 138 Hospitalized Patients With 2019 Novel Coronavirus-Infected Pneumonia in Wuhan, China. JAMA, doi:10.1001/jama.2020.1585 (2020).