Affimed NV (NASDAQ:AFMD) recently announced that it signed a collaborative agreement with NKMax America Inc., through which they will both investigate a combination therapy of AFM24 and SNK01 natural killer cells.
The two companies plan to conduct a first-in-human proof-of-concept (POC) clinical trial as part of their collaborative efforts. The clinical trial will enroll patients suffering from EGFR-expressing tumors. Affirmed and NKMax’s recently announced collaboration follows previous joint efforts by the two companies, through which they sought to understand the synergies that could be achieved through their platforms.
The preclinical collaboration proved that the ICE® molecules platform from Affimed and the natural killer cell products from NKMax America could deliver significant synergies. The new agreement between the two companies presents an opportunity to explore more clinical study combinations through pipeline products from the two companies.
The collaboration will tap into huge efficiencies presented by their innovative products
A good example of the new products is NKMax has a new and innovative NK cell expansion and activation platform which can produce commercially large amounts of allogeneic and autologous NK cells. The platform also boosts cytotoxicity levels in the expanded NK cells by roughly 8000 percent. Meanwhile, Affimed has a lineup of innovative ICE® products. AFM24 is particularly interesting because it can kill solid tumors once its innate immunity is activated.
“We believe combining ICE® molecules generated from our ROCK® platform with adoptive NK cell transfer can improve patient outcomes by ensuring patients have active and viable innate cells to be directed to the tumor and induce cytotoxic killing,” stated Affimed’s CEO, Dr. Adi Hoess.
The CEO also noted that the ICE molecules have a high affinity to binding with CD16A and they can also deliver potent innate cells to tumors even if there is very low antigen expression in the target tumors. Paul Song, the Chief Medical Officer at NKMax America stated that combining the two innovative technologies from the two companies will pave way for an entirely new class of treatments. He also added that the combination or synergy approach is a superior alternative to current CAR-NK and CAR-T methods of developing cell therapies.