The alliance will focus on measures to expedite the clinical programme of SNK01 for Parkinson’s disease. Credit: Annick Vanblaere / Pixabay.

NKGen Biotech and the Parkinson’s Foundation have entered a partnership to progress the former’s new natural killer (NK) cell therapy development for advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD).

The alliance will focus on measures to expedite the clinical programme of NKGen using its autologous NK cell therapy, SNK01, and leveraging its clinical partners and donors’ network.

Based in the US, NKGen develops and markets new autologous, allogeneic and CAR-NK NK cell therapies. 

Leveraging its cell expansion and activation technology as well as cell manufacturing capabilities, the company can extend NK cells while substantially boosting cytotoxicity across peripheral blood-derived products. 

A lead product candidate of the company, SNK01 is presently being analysed as a single agent and along with other agents, including checkpoint inhibitors and cell engagers, in trials to treat advanced refractory solid tumours. 

NKGen Biotech vice-chairman Paul Song said: “We believe our non-genetically modified, enhanced, and expanded NK cells (SNK01) can provide an entirely new therapeutic approach to Parkinson’s disease, which currently lacks effective disease-modifying modalities. 

“We are very impressed with the Parkinson’s Foundation’s holistic approach towards improving patient care and supporting cutting-edge research. 

“We are confident that they will be a great partner for us as we bring our treatment for Parkinson’s disease to the clinic in 2023.”

In October, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted clearance for the company’s Investigational New Drug (IND) application to begin a Phase I clinical trial of its cryopreserved “off-the-shelf” allogeneic blood-derived NK cell therapy, SNK02.

The open-label, dose-escalation trial will analyse the safety and tolerability of SNK02 in solid tumour patients who are refractory to standard-of-care treatment.

Cell & Gene Therapy coverage on Pharmaceutical Technology is supported by Cytiva.

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