SANTA ANA, CA, USA I June 12, 2024 I NKGen Biotech, Inc. (Nasdaq: NKGN) (“NKGen” or the “Company”), a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative autologous, allogeneic and CAR-NK natural killer (“NK”) cell therapeutics, today presented details on its novel allogeneic blood-derived NK cell therapy (“SNK02”) commercial manufacturing and cryopreservation process by Paul Y. Song, MD, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NKGen, entitled, “Protecting Patients by Removing Need for Lymphodepletion to Better Preserve Immune Function”. Dr. Song also provided an update on the Company’s initial Phase 1 results using SNK02 to treat patients with advanced refractory solid tumors.

Dr. Song’s presentation explored the potential benefits of eliminating pre-treatment lymphodepletion in patients undergoing SNK02 therapy, aiming to safeguard immune function and aid in recovery. Avoiding lymphodepletion before administering cancer treatment can provide many benefits including reduced toxicity, preservation of immune function and potentially enhancing treatment efficacy. The presentation also included a discussion on the results from the Company’s Phase 1 SNK02 clinical study in solid tumors previously disclosed in a publication at the 2024 American Society for Clinical Oncology annual meeting. Moreover, unpublished Phase 1 SNK02 data were also presented.

The Phase 1 clinical trial administered SNK02 intravenously (“IV”) weekly for a total of 8 weeks with a starting dose of 6 x 109 SNK02 cells in patients with advanced refractory solid tumors, without lymphodepletion. The primary endpoint was safety based on adverse events, vitals, laboratory tests and physical exams. Tolerability and maximum tolerated dose were also evaluated. SNK02 was found to be well tolerated as a monotherapy and appears to have some clinical activity against pretreated solid tumors despite the lack of lymphodepletion.

Dr. Song commented during the presentation, “As most of the focus of NK cell therapy has been for liquid tumors with lymphodepletion, we have always believed that lymphodepletion could be detrimental to patients with solid tumors especially those being treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies or bispecific therapies where a robust immune response is essential. We therefore set out to develop a commercial scale manufacturing and cryopreservation process which could yield greater than 100,00 doses of SNK02 (cryopreserved enhanced activated allogeneic NK cells) with the idea that large doses could be delivered without lymphodepletion to potentially overcome any host versus graft reaction. We are pleased to show that, despite developing autoantibodies to sustained repeated dosing of our allogeneic product, SNK02 was safe and treatment appeared to stop the progression of several heavily pretreated solid tumors as a monotherapy. We are excited to further explore the efficacy of SNK02 in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors and antibodies against solid tumors.”

Presentation Highlights:

  • In the Phase 1 SNK02 clinical trial, 6 patients, with advanced refractory solid tumors and an average of 4 prior lines of therapy, were enrolled. The median age was 64 years old (range, 44–71), and 4 were male.
  • The cancer subtypes included 2 colorectal cancers, 1 leiomyosarcoma, 1 angiosarcoma, 1 endometrial adenocarcinoma, and 1 undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma.
  • Four of six patients completed 8 cycles of SNK02. The best objective response of stable disease (tumor stopped growing) was demonstrated in 100% of patients that completed the 8 cycles.
  • One patient received 18 consecutive weekly doses and another patient received 12 consecutive weekly doses.
  • Out of the 36 doses administered through Cycle 8, there were 17 Grade 1, 3 Grade 2, and 1 Grade 3 adverse events (“AEs”) related to investigational product (“IP”). The Grade 3 AE of increased fatigue resolved after 1 day with no intervention required.
  • There was 1 death on study, which was deemed unrelated to the IP.
  • Auto-antibodies appeared to develop around Cycle 5 and appeared to correlate with AEs.
  • There did not appear to be any correlation with KIR mismatch or HLA subtyping with AEs or tumor response.
  • SNK02 was well-tolerated as a monotherapy and appears to have some clinical activity against pretreated solid tumors despite the lack of lymphodepletion. SNK02 will continue to be studied as a monotherapy and in potential combination treatment regimens with monoclonal antibodies and immune checkpoint inhibitors.

A copy of the presentation is available on the Scientific Publications page of the Company’s website at Previously disclosed Phase 1 data on the positive effects of SNK02 on advanced solid tumors, which may not be included in this conference presentation, can also be found on the Scientific Publications page.

About SNK02
SNK02 is a novel cell-based, donor-derived ex vivo expanded allogeneic NK cell immunotherapeutic drug candidate. NKGen Biotech, Inc. is developing SNK02 for the treatment of a broad range of cancers.

About NKGen Biotech
NKGen is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative autologous, allogeneic, and CAR-NK NK cell therapeutics. NKGen is headquartered in Santa Ana, California, USA. For more information, please visit

SOURCE: NKGen Biotech