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,” says Johan Liwing, CEO at XNK.
Preclinical research agreement
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, states XNK.
“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.
Photo of Johan Liwing: XNK