Natural killer cells are a type of lymphocytes and are key components of the innate immune system. They are highly specific predators that play a major role in the host rejection of both tumors and virally infected cells. NK cells are derived from the common lymphoid progenitor cells (lymphoblasts), which also generate B and T lymphocytes. They differentiate and mature in the bone marrow, lymph nodes, spleen, tonsils, and thymus, where they then enter into the bloodstream. The report comprises of pipeline products including NK Cell Therapies and NK Cell Augmenters.
In terms of the R&D scenario, there are total 35 active products in NK cell therapies and augmenters and among these, 13 products are in phase II, 5 in phase I, 14 in preclinical and 2 are in the discovery phase. Major companies working in this domain are NantKwest, Sorrento Therapeutics and Fate Therapeutics for NK cells based therapies and Innate Pharma, Altor Biosciences and Affimed for NK cells Augmenters. Most of the products in the pipeline are targeted towards various oncology indications.
Also, the major technologies being used for therapeutic development include Induced Pluripotent Cell Platform, CAR-TNK, TandAb and haNK technologies. The target antigens for NK cells based therapies are Natural Killer Cells (NK Cells), Cells Expressing HEGFR2 Antigens and CD16. Seven NK cells based technologies have received Orphan Drug Designation by regulatory authorities like US FDA and EMA. Many companies have collaborated to maximize their resources and accelerate the R&D process.