Affimed NV (NASDAQ:AFMD) kicked off October on a strong note particularly with the launch of its Phase 1 Clinical of its pipeline cancer therapy called AFM13.
The company announced on October 6 that it successfully administered AFM13 to the first patient in phase 1 clinical study. The drug was preloaded onto cord blood-derived natural killer (cbNK) cells. Affirmed NV developed AFM13 in partnership with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
The immune-oncology company is excited about the study because it is the first clinical trial to deliver a combination of NK cell products with antibodies designed to activate NK cells and cancer cells through a bispecific approach. The combination might pave the way for future combination therapies that tap into the Affimed ICE platform.
“Engaging the innate immune system is a novel and promising therapeutic approach in oncology and our ICE® products are designed to tap into this, which, thus far, has largely remained untapped in this field,” stated Affirmed’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Andreas Harstrick.
The AFM13 therapy might be an oncology game changer
The mechanism for AFM13 delivery is one of the reasons for the excitement because it features a targeted approach which means the treatment avoids damaging healthy cells. The mechanism involves arming NK cells with AFM13. The latte’s role is to direct the NK cells to the tumor’s location where the cancer cells are then targeted.
The treatment will be delivered as a monotherapy during the Phase 1 clinical trial and this will help to ensure that infused cbNK cells remain activated. Additionally, it will help to ensure that the cbNK cells interact with the patient’s native immune system cells. The fact that it is a monotherapy means that if it turns out successful, patients will not have to take multiple doses and chances are that adverse effects will be drastically reduced.
Affirmed recently announced that it plans to present preclinical data on the AFM13-targeted NK cells research during the 35th Annual Meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC). This year’s meeting will be held virtually from November 9 to November 14.