NantKwest (NK) Announces Presentation of Analysis for Ongoing Phase II Merkel Cell Carcinoma Study at SITC

November 14, 2016 4:12 PM EST

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NantKwest Inc. (Nasdaq: NK) announced a presentation of early analysis of the Company’s ongoing Phase II Merkel cell carcinoma study at the 31st Annual Meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) held November 9-13, 2016, in National Harbor, Maryland.

NantKwest’s presentation on Friday, November 11th, Adoptive Cellular Therapy (ACT) With Allogeneic Activated Natural Killer (aNK) Cells in Patients With Advanced Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC): Preliminary Results of a Phase 2 Trial, highlighted interim results from the Company’s ongoing Phase II clinical study of the Company’s investigational aNK natural killer cell therapy in Merkel cell carcinoma. Dr Shailender Bhatia from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center presented the first evidence of a radiological complete response following single agent aNK infusion in a patient with recurrent disease after multiple lines of therapy including relapse after checkpoint inhibitor therapy.

Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare and aggressive skin cancer that is increasing in incidence. Patients with metastatic or locally advanced Merkel cell carcinoma have an extremely poor prognosis with less than 20% of patients surviving longer than five years.

Commenting on the results, Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, Chairman and CEO of NantKwest, said the following: “We are encouraged to see, even in a heavily pretreated patient population, including patients who have failed checkpoint inhibitor therapy, that our aNK natural killer cell therapy exhibited clinically meaningful antitumor activity, including a promising radiological complete response in one patient, and we look forward to the rapid development of our aNK program in Merkel cell carcinoma. In addition, through our clinical development program, we strive to bring the potential for long-term survival to a broad range of cancer patients in a number of additional cancer indications.”

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.”

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