ImmunityBio Announces 100th Patient Dosed with Proprietary Natural Killer Cells; NK Trials Cover Multiple Indications
ImmunityBio, Inc. (NASDAQ: IBRX), a clinical-stage immunotherapy company, today announced it has administered its proprietary Natural Killer cells to more than 100 patients. The cells were administered as part of combination therapies in trials across multiple indications, including pancreatic, triple-negative breast, and Merkel Cell Carcinoma cancers. The 100th patient to receive ImmunityBio’s NK cells is participating in the company’s QUILT 88 trial for pancreatic cancer (NCT04390399).
To support that scale of testing, the company has manufactured more than 5 trillion clinical-grade, off-the-shelf NK cells (haNK, PD-L1.t-haNK) since 2017 and has more than 2.7 trillion cryopreserved cells in storage, representing a pipeline of 1,400 doses for our clinical trials. Over the last six months, ImmunityBio has invested in substantial upgrades to its cell therapy production equipment, as well as in process improvements, resulting in a 400% increase in process performance.
“We believe ImmunityBio is the first natural killer cell therapy-based company to accomplish manufacturing, storage and administration of cryopreserved NK cells at this scale,” said ImmunityBio CEO Richard Adcock. “As a result of developing increased efficiencies and driving best manufacturing practices, we will be able to accelerate the development of our cell therapy platforms and immunotherapies to deliver better outcomes for patients in their fight against cancer and infectious diseases.”
ImmunityBio’s off-the-shelf Natural Killer cell platform is comprised of several allogeneic NK therapies derived from the company’s proprietary, universal NK-92 cell line, a fast growing, stable NK cell line that is uniquely amenable to complex genetic enhancements and large-scale production. The NK platform has demonstrated the ability to induce cell death in cancers and virally infected cells through a variety of concurrent mechanisms, including innate killing, antibody-mediated killing, CAR-directed killing, and a combination of both antibody-mediated and CAR-directed killing.
The platform is designed to be manufactured as an “off-the-shelf” therapy that can be molecularly engineered in a variety of ways to boost its killing capabilities against cancers and virally infected cells. Unlike normal natural killer cells, NK-92 cells lack inhibitors that are often exploited by diseased cells to ward off an NK cell attack. They also are designed to deliver a more lethal blow to their target with a larger payload of lytic enzymes and cytokines. ImmunityBio has extensive cell therapy and adenovirus vector manufacturing expertise, with a combined footprint of more than 400,000 square feet of manufacturing facilities in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Louisville, Colorado, with capacity to expand as demand warrants.