Partners explore NK cell therapy and bispecific antibodies combo

Natural killer cells

ONK Therapeutics and NAYA Biosciences have agreed to develop a combination therapy of ONK’s optimally-engineered natural killer (NK) cell therapies and NAYA’s FLEX-NK bispecific antibodies.

The partnership will explore the combination of ONK’s ONKT105, CISH + TGFβR2 double knock-out (KO), sIL-15 knock-in (KI) allogeneic NK cell therapy with NAYA’s GPC3-targeted NY-303 FLEX-NK bispecific antibody.

“We are impressed with the data ONK has generated using its differentiated editing of NK cells, which may further enhance the efficacy of our FLEX-NK bispecific antibodies,” commented NAYA’s CEO Dr Daniel Teper. “The future development of this combination therapy alongside our monotherapy clinical trials will help expand patient options and narrow the gap towards improving the long-term survival of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.”

ONK and NAYA plan to assess several combination therapies in preclinical cancer models in 2024 prior to subsequently exploring initiating clinical trials.

The companies’ R&D teams will collaboratively evaluate ONK’s gene-edited NK cell therapy, ONKT105, with NAYA’s NY-303 bispecific antibody before selecting the best candidates for potential clinical development. Both companies will share the costs of manufacturing and preclinical assessments.

ONK’s CEO Chris Nowers added: “The opportunity to partner with NAYA to evaluate the activity of our optimally gene-edited, non-CAR directed, allogeneic NK cell therapies in combination with its exciting FLEX-NK bispecific antibodies offers an opportunity to further improve response rates and durability of NK cell therapy. We believe this therapeutic combination represents a broadly applicable and versatile approach to treat patients with cancer and autoimmune diseases, where additional treatment options are needed.”

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