Nkarta announces positive preliminary results with natural killer cell cancer therapies

Nkarta today announced positive preliminary data in two Phase 1 clinical trials of its natural killer cell therapies to treat patients with advanced blood cancer.

In the first trial, evaluating NKX101, three of five patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) “achieved complete response with full hematologic recovery” (complete remission), according to statement from Nkarta. “There is currently no standard of care for these patients,” it added.

In the second trial, evaluating NKX019, three of six patients with B-cell lymphomas “showed a complete response,” the statement said.

“We’re excited to see our CAR NK co-lead candidates, NKX101 and NKX019, show such striking early single-agent activity in heavily pretreated patient populations, with an exceptional safety profile without the side effects associated with CAR T cell therapies,” said Paul J. Hastings, President and CEO of Nkarta, in the statement. “These encouraging data across multiple indications further validate Nkarta’s best-in-class NK cell platform, as we seek to transform cancer treatment by bringing together the safety advantages of NK cells with an off-the-shelf modality designed to make the benefits of cell therapy accessible in a community setting.”

Possibility to avoid side effects

Therapy with CAR NK cells, or “chimeric antigen receptor natural killer cells,” is seen as a way to avoid the side effects that can accompany therapy using CAR T cells (“chimeric antigen receptor T cells”), according to a report in the Oschner Journal. As an “off-the-shelf” treatment, CAR NK cell therapies may also offer advantages over personalized treatments, according to this article in Research Outreach.

Read Nkarta’s full press statement.

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