NK-cell Therapy

Ushering in the Future of NK-cell Therapy


Natural killer (NK) cells have long been known to play a significant role in the body’s innate immune response. They were first described in the 1970s, but only in the last 15 years has significant progress been made in understanding the complexities and therapeutic potential these cells offer in helping fight cancer and other diseases.1  Today, we know that NK cells not only detect and identify malignant cancer cells, but they also induce cancer cell death4,5 and even help trigger a broader adaptive immune response in order to fully engage and fight tumor cells.6,7

Our technology builds on decades of fundamental research to lead today’s field of NK-cell therapy. Our unique particle processing technology enables improved and sustained growth of high-dose NK cells that have a broad repertoire of “killer”anti-cancer functions, creating an immuno-oncology platform with the potential to address some of today’s most difficult cancers.

Clinical studies have shown that high doses of NK cells infused as an adoptive immunotherapy can reduce residual disease and strengthen the body’s ability to fight cancer.8–10

1.Chiossone L, et al, Natural killer cells and other innate lymphoid cells in cancer. Nat Reviews 18; 671-688 (2018)
4. Bottcher, J. P. et al. NK cells stimulate recruitment of cDC1 into the tumor microenvironment promoting cancer immune control. Cell 172, 1022–1037 (2018).
5. Pallmer, K. & Oxenius, A. Recognition and regulation of T cells by NK cells. Front. Immunol. 7, 251 (2016).
6. Slavin S, Morecki S, Shapira MY, et al. Use of matched or mismatched rIL-2 activated donor lymphocytes positively selected for CD56+ for immunotherapy of resistant leukemia after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2004;22(14_suppl):6516-6516.
7. Barkholt L, Alici E, Conrad R, et al. Safety analysis of ex vivo-expanded NK and NK-like T cells administered to cancer patients: a phase I clinical study. Immunotherapy. Sep 2009;1(5):753-764.
8. Koehl U, Kalberer C, Spanholtz J, et al. Advances in clinical NK cell studies: Donor selection, manufacturing and quality control. Oncoimmunology. Apr 2016;5(4):e1115178.
9. Rizzieri DA, Storms R, Chen DF, et al. Natural killer cell-enriched donor lymphocyte infusions from A 3-6/6 HLA matched family member following nonmyeloablative allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. Aug 2010;16(8):1107-1114.
10. Thakar M, Hari P, Maloney DG, et al. Prophylactic Natural Killer Cell Immunotherapy Following HLA-Haploidentical Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Prevents Relapse and Improves Survival in Patients with High-Risk Hematological Malignancies. Blood. 2016;128(22):1161-1161.

Technology – The NK-cell technology platform