CAR Engineered NK cell as a novel immuno-oncology therapeutics
NK cells are attracting attentions as an alternative to CAR-T which shows side effects and high cost of goods (COGs). NK cell can be used for allogeneic purpose without any sever side effect such as graft versus host disease (GvHD). Therefore, NK cell is one of option to solve the problem in adverse effect in CAR-T therapy and to facilitate commercial use. However, multiple technical problems in incorporation of CAR technology into NK cell must be solved. Compared with T cell, NK cell has strong resistances against gene insertion due to their natural property. Based on mass production of NK cells, however, construction of NK specific intra cellular signaling domain, and transduction of lentiviral vector expressing CAR construction, the development of next generation NK cell therapy with genetic modification is underway. Gene modified allogeneic NK cell is considered as an immune-oncology drug beyond CAR-T.
Dr. Yu-Kyeong Hwang has over than 30 years experience in biopharmaceutical entities, and she started her carrier as a research scientist in a non-profit research institute funded by Green Cross Corp in 1990. To support development of her main project, development of allogeneic NK cell therapeutics, she moved into GC LabCell in 2014. She is in charge of R&D projects for cell and gene therapy since 2014 from early discovery to clinical stage programs. She currently serves as senior vice president of Cell Therapy Research Center, GC LabCell Corp. Also, she has a position of Board of Director in Artiva Biotherapeutics, which is US Bio company, to develop the NK cell program based on GC LabCell’s technology and programs.
A Combinatorial NK Cell Therapy against Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Cancer immunotherapy consists of antibodies, cytokines, immunomodulators, cancer vaccines, oncolytic virus, adoptive immune cell therapy, etc. Among those immunotherapeutic modalities, antibody-based check point inhibitors and adoptive cell therapies came into the mainstream of cancer therapy. Especially, cell-based cancer immunotherapy is the most active modality being developed during last several years. For cell-based cancer immunotherapy, several types of cells are developed such as tumor tropic stem cells, T cells, NK/NKT cells, antigen presenting cells, and engineered immunocytes. VaxCell Biotherapeutics is a company working on cell-based cancer therapies: dendritic cell, NK cell, CAR therapeutics are under clinical and preclinical stages. In this presentation, clinical stage NK cell therapy against advanced hepatocellular carcinoma will be discussed.
CEO Joon Haeng Rhee is an authority in vaccine and immunology. He has served as a tenured Professor at Chonnam National University Medical School since 1993. He has served as member of National Science and Technology Council, the director of Clinical Vaccine R&D Center, a president of Korean Vaccine Society, and a Fellow of the International Society for Vaccines. Also, he has been active as an advisor in Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, etc. After taking the CEO office of Vaxcell-Bio in 2019, he has been using his capabilities for the forward progression of the company.