NantKwest Inc. (NASDAQ:NK) And ImmunityBio Add Cohort 3 In Phase 2 Pancreatic Cancer Study evaluating PD-L1 t-haNK

NantKwest Inc. (NASDAQ:NK) has announced the addition of a third cohort to its ongoing Phase 2 study if its novel immunotherapy for the treatment of metastatic or locally advanced pancreatic cancer. The third cohort will allow unresponsive cancer patients to the standard of care to participate in the study.

NantKwest to evaluate PD-L1 t-haNK in Cohort 3

The company added the third cohort, which will be studied in an open-label, randomized trial evaluating its PD-L1 t-haNK’e safety and efficacy. The study will evaluate the efficacy and safety of PD-L1 t-haNK in combination with ImmunityBio’s Anktiva (N-803) super antagonist and aldoxorubicin, including standard of care. NantKwest will company the results to the standard of care chemotherapy for 1st and 2nd line treatment. It is important to note that the third-line cohort will be a single-arm without a comparator.

NantKwest and ImmunityBio CEO and Chairman Patrick Soon-Shiong said that pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancer forms with just a 5% five-year survival rate. Therefore there is a need for additional effective therapies. Patrick said the addition of the third cohort in the study enables the company to enroll participants at all disease stages, even for individuals that have seen disease progression following 1st and 2nd line treatment.

Study sites already identified

The study sites are already activated for the third cohort study in The Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Medicine in Los Angele, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Orange Counts, and Avera McKennan Hosptial and University Health Centre in South Dakota.

The combination immunotherapy of NantKwest and ImmunityBio has been designed to harness the body’s immune system to target, kill, and remember cancer cells. The trial agents have been designed to identify pancreatic cancer cells and commence an immune response against the cells. This allows the body to produce its antibodies, which will fight the cancer cells.

Soon-Shiong said that their pancreatic cancer research and those of other cancer forms focus on recruiting and enhancing the human body’s immunity system for targeting and destruction of cancer cells.