NantKwest Inc. (NASDAQ:NK) and ImmunityBio Collaborate In Development of Adenovirus COVID-19 Vaccine

NantKwest Inc. (NASDAQ:NK) and ImmunityBio have entered a binding agreement term for co-development, co-manufacturer, and co-commercialization of COVID-19 vaccines and Therapeutics.

NantKwest and ImmunityBio collaborate to develop COVID-19 vaccine

The company has announced the selection of ImmunityBio’s coronavirus vaccine candidate for Operation Warp Speed, a national program for accelerating the development of a COVID-19 vaccine by January 2020. The ImmunityBio vaccine candidate is the first adenovirus (Ad5)vaccine for humans designed to offer Neucleocapsid and Spike DNA for possible long-lasting cell-mediated and humoral immunity against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The collaboration efforts will focus on developing, testing, and large-scale manufacturing of the hAd5 vaccine candidate.

The hAd5 vaccine candidate has already shown safety in mor4e than 125 patients in the company’s 13 first phase and second phase trials to date. The National Cancer Institute conducted clinical studies that demonstrated that the novel hAd5 candidate could induce antigen-specific T-cell immunity regardless of the presence of pre-existing adenoviral immunity.

Similarly, the companies have indicated that the FDA has approved using ImmunityBio’s IL-15 in treating patients that have the previous onset of the severe condition through activation on natural killer cells mitigating viral replication. NantKwest announced on May 18 that the FDA had approved its study of using mesenchymal stem cell treatments in modulating the excessive response of the immune system to coronavirus infection, thus potentially minimizing the devastating and fatal effects of COVID-19.

Binding term sheet spells how costs will be shared

The binding agreement the companies signed for the joint development of the COVID-19 vaccine outlines how they will share the costs and how they will apportion profits for successfully commercialized products. Equally, the binding term agreement spells out the structure for the shared governance of the collaboration.

Patrick Soon-Shion, the CEO and Chairman of NantKwestr and ImmunityBio, indicated that they are employing their novel technologies to work quickly in developing Therapeutics for those that have been infected already. The CEO said that they were delighted for ImmunityBio being selected as among the Operation Warp Speed companies for the development t of a vaccine candidate.