Kleo Pharmaceuticals and Celularity Enter into Research Collaboration to Rapidly Develop Allogeneic NK Cell Combination Therapies for COVID-19 and Multiple Myeloma
- Category: DNA RNA and Cells
- Published on Thursday, 21 May 2020 13:42
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Synergistic Potential of Kleo’s Antibody Recruiting Molecule (ARM™) and Celularity’s Placental-Derived NK Cells to Be Evaluated in the Context of COVID-19 and Multiple Myeloma
NEW HAVEN, CT, USA I May 21, 2020 IKleo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a leading company in the field of developing next-generation, fully synthetic bispecific compounds designed to emulate or enhance the activity of biologics, and Celularity, Inc., a leading developer of allogeneic, or “off-the-shelf”, natural killer (NK) cell therapies, today announced a preclinical research collaboration to rapidly advance synergistic combinations of each company’s technology platform as potential treatments for COVID-19 and multiple myeloma.
The collaboration comes at an opportune time for both companies. Earlier this year, Kleo received IND authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to test its CD38-targeting antibody recruiting molecule (ARMTM) in combination with autologous NK cells in a clinical study. In early April, Celularity received FDA authorization to evaluate one of its allogeneic NK cell products, CYNK-001, in COVID-19 infected adults. CYNK-001 is the only cryopreserved allogeneic, off-the-shelf Natural Killer (NK) cell therapy being developed from placental hematopoietic stem cells. It also is being investigated as a treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), multiple myeloma (MM), and glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
“We look forward to working with Celularity to advance the ARMTM technology platform across multiple drug programs,” said Doug Manion, MD, CEO of Kleo Pharmaceuticals. “Celularity’s cryopreserved allogeneic NK cells easily combine with the ARMTM platform, which is expected to facilitate NK cell targeting toward cancerous tumors or sites of viral infection.” Celularity’s CEO Robert Hariri, MD, PhD added, “We quickly realized the advantages of Kleo’s synthetic bifunctional technology, and the synergistic potential between ARMTM molecules and our allogeneic NK cells. The speed and modularity of the Kleo platform allow for the development of ARMTM-allogeneic NK cell combination therapies across a wide variety of indications.”
When used in combination with NK cells, ARMTM molecules behave similarly to chimeric antigen receptors, though their synthetic nature eliminates the need for genetic engineering. ARMTM molecules associate with NK cells via IgG antibodies bound to a first moiety, while also containing an interchangeable and customizable second moiety. Selection of the second moiety can be used to confer affinity of an ARMTM-NK cell complex against a biological target, such as the spike protein of COVID-19 particles or CD38 expressed on the surface of multiple myeloma hematologic tumors, ultimately facilitating NK-cell mediated destruction of target cells. This modular design allows ARMTM molecules to be broadly applicable across a range of drug programs.
About Kleo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Kleo Pharmaceuticals is a unique biotechnology company developing next-generation, bispecific compounds designed to emulate or enhance the activity of biologics based on the groundbreaking research of its scientific founder Dr. David Spiegel at Yale University. Kleo’s compounds are designed to direct the immune system to destroy cancerous or virally infected cells and are currently in development for the treatment of various diseases, including multiple myeloma and COVID-19. Compared to biologics, Kleo’s compounds are smaller and more versatile, leading to potentially improved safety and efficacy. They are also much faster and more efficient to design and produce, particularly against novel targets. Kleo develops drug candidates based on its proprietary technology platforms, all of which are modular in design and enable rapid generation of novel immunotherapies that can be optimized against specified biological targets and combined with existing cell- or antibody-based therapies. These include Antibody Recruiting Molecules (ARMs) and Monoclonal Antibody Therapy Enhancers (MATEs). Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company (NYSE:BHVN) and PeptiDream Inc. (Nikkei:PPTDF) are investors in Kleo Pharmaceuticals. For more information visit http://kleopharmaceuticals.com.
Celularity, headquartered in Warren, N.J., is a clinical-stage cell therapeutics company delivering transformative allogeneic cellular therapies derived from the postpartum human placenta. Using proprietary technology in combination with its IMPACT™ platform, Celularity is the only company harnessing the purity and versatility of placental-derived cells to develop and manufacture innovative and highly scalable off-the-shelf treatments for patients with cancer, inflammatory and age-related diseases. To learn more, please visit www.celularity.com.