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Exclusive Speaker Interview: Nick Huntington
Nick Huntington, CSO
oNKo-Innate Pty Ltd
What do you feel is the biggest challenge with the development of cell therapies?
The complexity of dealing with a unique living product each time creates several logistical challenges, especially in the setting of autologous cell therapies. Thus, the challenge lies in standardizing and streamlining a cell therapy approach without compromising the efficacy.
Exclusive Speaker Interview: Patrick Soon-Shiong
Patrick Soon-Shiong, Chairman & CEO
How and to what capacity are you involved with developing NK cell therapies?
NantKwest develops our universal, off-the-shelf natural killer cell platform. This has been engineered to express a high-affinity CD16 for targeted antibodydependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) in combination with IgG1 monoclonal antibodies. These haNK cells are in phase II trials in merkel cell cancer as part of a combination therapy. Cells also have been engineered to express chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) against various tumor antigens. NantCell is focused on the development of a bispecific NK and T cell activation molecule (N-803), which consists of an IL-15 / IL-15 receptor alpha complex that is linked to an IgG1 Fc (a ligand of CD16). This fusion protein has demonstrated an ability to activate and expand NK and CD8+ T cell populations without expanding regulatory T cell populations. N-803 is currently being studied in combination with BCG in a phase II trials in BCG-unresponsive non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, as well as and in combination with anti-PD-1 antibodies in NSCLC and other solid tumors. In addition, NantCell also is further modifying this IL-15-based fusion protein to target additional molecules, such as PD-L1....