Nantkwest Inc (NASDAQ:NK) believes that it has the potential to change the current paradigm of cancer care across the globe. This is likely to be true, given that the safety of its natural killer (NK) cells and their activity against a wide range of cancers have gone through multiple phases 1 clinical trial. The same NK cells can be administered as an “off-the-shelf” living drug since because it is a universal cell-based therapy.
This is a clear indicator of the company’s growing success, and it has pounced on a collaboration with ImmunityBio. Through a definitive agreement, the two will combine their efforts to develop, manufacture and market therapeutics and vaccines. A majority of them are aimed at fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Product Candidates Currently in Development under the Agreement
“The agreement strengthens the efforts of both companies on behalf of patients, while also ensuring each company will earn a fair share of the returns of a successful product,” the CEO of NantKwest and ImmunityBio, Patrick Soon-Shiong explained.
Indeed with the severity and global nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to develop new ways to fight it increases. The duo’s agreement targets two candidates; mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapeutic and a COVID-19 vaccine product. They are both under development, and the former, which is from NantKwest, is expected to reduce the extent of time a seriously sick patient spends on a ventilator.
Net profits from the successful commercialization of any product will be shared at a 60-40% basis. The company, which developed the product will take the biggest share.
Bringing Novel NK cell-based Therapies to Routine Clinical Care
The role of the activated NK cell platform is to destroy virally-infected cancer cells. NantKwest has been at the helm of producing such clinical doses; the goal is to transform routine clinical care.
Meanwhile, ImmunityBio will participate in the Operation Warp Speed project, usually carried out by the White House. The project’s role is to ensure substantial amounts of safe and effectiveness are applied in the development of vaccines. In this case, the target is in the development of COVID-19 vaccines, drugs, and tests.