Dr. Soon-Shiong continued, "We believe this data, while a small data set, provides the foundation to submit to the FDA our plans to transition this trial to a pivotal study. Subject to FDA authorization, this transitional study will include our aNK cell therapy in combination with ALT-803, an investigational IL-15 superagonist complex shown to synergistically activate NK and T cells in human clinical trials and currently in development by Altor Biosciences. We believe this novel combination offers the potential to further improve response rates and bring NantKwest's natural killer cell therapy one step closer to routine clinical cancer care in a patient population in urgent need of better treatment options."About NantKwest NantKwest (Nasdaq:NK) is a pioneering, next generation, clinical-stage immunotherapy company focused on harnessing the unique power of our immune system using natural killer (NK) cells to treat cancer, infectious diseases and inflammatory diseases. NK cells are the body's first line of defense due to the innate ability of NK cells to rapidly identify and destroy cells under stress, such as cancer or virally-infected cells. NantKwest's unique NK cell-based platform, with the capacity to grow active killer cells as a biological cancer therapy, has been designed to induce cell death against cancer or infected cells by three different modes of action: (1) Direct killing using activated NK cells (aNK) that release toxic granules directly into the cell through cell to cell contact; (2) Antibody-mediated killing using haNKs, which are NK cells engineered to incorporate a high affinity receptor that binds to an administered antibody, enhancing the cancer cell killing effect of that antibody; and (3) Targeted activated killing using taNKs, which are NK cells engineered to incorporate chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) to target tumor-specific antigens found on the surface of cancer cells. Our aNK, haNK and taNK platform addresses certain limitations of T cell therapies including the reduction of risk of serious "cytokine storms" reported after T cell therapy. As an "off-the-shelf" therapy, NantKwest's NK cells do not rely on a patient's own often compromised immune system. In Phase 1 clinical trials in patients with late stage cancer, NantKwest's NK cells have been successfully administered as an outpatient infusion therapy without any reported severe side effects, even at doses of 10 billion cells.
By leveraging an integrated and extensive genomics and transcriptomics discovery and development engine, together with a pipeline of multiple, clinical-stage, immuno-oncology programs that include a Phase 2 trial for a rare form of melanoma and the planned initiation of a clinical trial of NK cells targeted to breast cancer, we believe NantKwest is uniquely positioned to be the premier immunotherapy company and transform medicine by delivering living drugs in a bag and bringing novel NK cell-based therapies to routine clinical care. For more information, please visit http://www.nantkwest.com.